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June 28, 2013

Army not to be maligned in Musharraf trial: Nisar

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June 28, 2013

ISLAMABAD: The Interior Minister on Thursday expressed the resolve in the National Assembly that no one would be allowed to bring disgrace to the institution of the army in the process of the trial of former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf for high treason as per Article 6 of the Constitution.
The members of the National Assembly expressed divergent views on holding Musharraf’s trial under Article 6 of the Constitution for his November 3, 2007 action. A number of MNAs demanded that the trial should also include his October 12, 1999 action while some said that all the dictators should be tried and the trial should start from 1956
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, however, did not agree with the assertion and said the government had taken a clear stance on the November 3, 2007 acts of the former president and also took the House into confidence on the matter. “We have stated our position to the Supreme Court and we have given our view, which is based on law and Constitution.”
Ch Nisar announced the formation of a four-member FIA committee whose members are: Muhammad Khalid Qureshi‚ Muhammad Azam Khan‚ Hussain Asghar and Maqsoodul Hasan. The committee will submit a weekly report to the interior ministry on its progress. The minister did not say how long it would take to complete its investigations.
The opposition parties advocated expanding this trial to October 12, 1999 while the MQM said the trial of all the dictators should be held and the exercise should not be restricted to an individual.
PPPP parliamentary leader Makhdoom Amin Fahim asked the government to try former dictator Pervez Musharraf under Article 6 of the Constitution for overthrowing an elected government on October 12, 1999 rather than taking action against him for November 3, 2007 emergency imposition.
Fahim said that his party had announced full support to the government in this regard but the government’s decision to try the dictator for the

November 3, 2007 emergency reflected that the government wanted to save some favourites. “This is unacceptable. Justice should be across the board. We condemn it as the abettors of the dictator are equally responsible,” he remarked.
The chief of the Awami Muslim League, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, also called for trying all the dictators under Article 6 of the Constitution, including all those who abrogated the Constitution since 1956.
The interior minister said that according to the judgment of a 14-member bench of the Supreme Court, only one person was responsible for the November 3, 2007 acts. He regretted that Musharraf was now trying to drag the institution of army into this affair. “During the eight years of dictatorship, it was Musharraf alone who enjoyed absolute power,” he added.
He said, “We have great respect for Pakistan Army whose personnel are rendering great sacrifices in the war against terrorism. There will be no blot on the face and image of Pakistan Army due to the initiation of inquiry against Pervez Musharraf,” he added.
The minister said a meeting of the parliamentary leaders would be held next month to discuss the issues of militancy and security with particular reference to drone strikes. “Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will chair the meeting which would be attended by the Chief of Army Staff as well as senior officials of intelligence agencies in order to formulate a consensus policy,” he added.
On the situation in Karachi, the interior minister said the government would take all the political parties into confidence in order to improve the law and order situation in the provincial metropolis.
Nisar said that he would visit Karachi next month to meet the governor, the chief minister and political leaders there. He said the federal government would provide all possible assistance to the provincial government to improve the situation in Karachi.
Earlier, speaking on a point of order, Makhdoom Amin Fahim urged the government to move prudently as a dictator was going to be tried under Article 6 for the first time since 1947. “Has the criminal act of overthrowing the elected government on October 12, 1999 been pardoned?” he asked.
Shaikh Rashid Ahmed welcomed the decision of the government to hand over the probe of Musharraf to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and said the judges had punished their fellow judges for the emergency of November 3, 2007.
He said that the government would have to charge 623 people and the court had given only three days to the government to take action while the government had sought 30 days. Mahmood Khan Achakzai of PkMAP said that the armed forces needed moral support and the National Assembly should pass a unanimous resolution in condemnation of terrorism and extending full support to the armed forces.
Regarding General Musharraf’s trial, Achakzai said that the government had submitted its viewpoint in the apex court. Dr Arif Alvi of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) urged the government to evolve a unanimous strategy to tackle terrorism by taking all political parties into confidence.
MQM parliamentary leader Dr Farooq Sattar said the trial of all dictators since 1956 should be conducted as mentioned in Article 6(2a) of the Constitution. “The Constitution is being wrongly interpreted,” he viewed.
Chief of JUI-F Maulana Fazalur Rehman voiced concerns over the recent wave of terrorism in the country. He said practical steps were required to address the root causes of terrorism and extremism.
He said the federal government should formulate a policy on the issue after taking on board the provincial governments. Maulana Fazalur Rehman said the government should take the allied parties into confidence on the matter of trial of Musharraf.
Earlier, the House witnessed disorder when the Speaker Ayaz Sadiq denied Dr Farooq Sattar time to speak on the issue as the House had to take up the Finance Bill for approval.The MQM legislators in protest stood in front of the Speaker’s rostrum and chanted slogans against his ‘partisan’ attitude. However, opposition leader Syed Khursheed Shah and Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafiq persuaded the MQM legislators to return to their seats.The protest ended when the speaker gave the floor to Dr Farooq Sattar.