ISLAMABAD: The FIA report on Musharraf’s high treason case showed that the former dictator dodged the FIA probe using, what it called, the “pretext” of “low grade fever” but concluded that Musharraf had issued and signed the November 3 order without any input from any of the ministries or the PM’s office.
The report, however, left unanswered the one million dollar question as to who then had drafted the Proclamation of Emergency Order issued by Musharraf in his capacity as the army chief.
Was he some unofficial legal adviser of the dictator?In its findings, the FIA team, while referring to the statements of different key officials of that time, said, “It has been properly established that none of their offices/ministries (PM Office, Law Ministry, Cabinet Division, Interior Ministry) were legally authorised to communicate any such recommendation to Gen Pervez Musharraf as COAS nor any communication was made to this effect to encourage or empower him to proclaim emergency on November 3, 2007.”
Although, the then law minister and presently Minister for Science and Technology Zahid Hamid is generally discussed in the media for his alleged role in the November 3 abrogation of the Constitution, the FIA report did not mention Hamid even once.
The report added that under the Constitution, no such powers are invested in the COAS to abrogate, subvert or hold in abeyance any part or whole of the Constitution. “He (Mush) is thus culpable under Article-6 for committing an act of high treason in violation of his oath as government servant to preserve & protect the Constitution of Pakistan. Hence, any such act would amount to an act of usurper.”
The FIA report added, “It is, therefore, evident that contents of proclamation of Emergency were fabricated and concocted by Gen Pervez Musharraf with ulterior motives and are totally illegal & unwarranted and without any legal basis whatsoever.”
The report also established that the motive behind the November 3 action was to pre-empt the possible outcome of the petition of Justice (retd) Wajihuddin, which was pending before the SC against holding of two offices by Gen Musharraf. “Apprehending judgment against him, Gen Pervez Musharraf unconstitutionally and unlawfully proclaimed Emergency on November 3, 2007, to prevent the SC from performing its lawful and constitutional role.”
In its conclusion, the FIA team said, “The team has not found any mitigating circumstances that could minimise the culpability of General Pervez Musharraf in his act of high treason under Article-6 of the 1973 Constitution.”
It added that by attacking the independence of the judiciary and the fundamental rights, Musharraf had subverted the very core pillars of the Constitution and thus had endangered the very existence of the country. “Such unconstitutional acts can lead the country into total chaos and civil strife. Perpetrator of such a heinous offence, defined by Constitution itself, should not go unpunished.”
The FIA team recommended, “The competent authority in the Federal Government may lodge a formal complaint against General (R) Pervez Musharraf, under the High Treason (Punishment) Act 1973, in the Special Tribunal/Court notified by the Federal Government.”
It further recommended, “The competent authority may also take into account the role of various facilitators in the unconstitutional proclamation of Emergency on 3rd November, 2007.”
Regarding the latter’s recommendation, the FIA team did not explain as to who had facilitated the November 3rd order, but the sources in FIA said that it pertains to those who had a role in the implementation of the Nov 3rd action of Musharraf.
From the FIA report, the role of the then cabinet secretary, the then secretary to the president, the then principal secretary law was questionable in the implementation of Musharraf’s Nov 3rd extra-constitutional order. But otherwise each and every member of the government, both civil and military, followed the post Nov 3rd unconstitutional order of Musharraf.
Referring to the conduct of Musharraf in relation to the FIA inquiry, the report said that Musharraf was summoned by the FIA team to join the probe for his version or to offer any evidence in his defence but his staff informed the team that he suddenly fell ill with “low grade fever,” and therefore, could not join the probe.
The inquiry team again directed him to produce a valid medical certificate in support of his illness. “It is, however, evident that Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf’s failure to record his version is wilful, and he has no intention of joining investigation and the sudden ‘low grade fever’ is just a pretext. He apparently is unable to produce any defence in spite of being provided an ample opportunity to do so.”
The report said that the inquiry team apprehended that due to lack of evidence in support of his defence, Muharraf may attempt to leave the country; therefore, it promptly moved the Interior Ministry to place his name on the ECL.