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January 12, 2014
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Musharraf tried Haq under NAB law and Navy was not hurt

January 12, 2014

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ISLAMABAD: What the former Army chief Gen (retd) Musharraf is seeking for himself today in a high treason case, was denied to former naval chief, Admiral (retd) Mansurul Haq, although Haq was involved in a far less serious crime compared to Musharraf.
The ex-general seeks for himself a trial under the Army Act and also propagates through his men in the media and outside that his trial is like trying the institution of the Pakistan Army.
However, when Musharraf was in power he had former naval chief Admiral (retd) Mansurul Haq arrested, handcuffed and punished through NAB and it never became a trial of the Pakistan Navy.
During those days and under Musharraf’s rule, not a single voice was raised to term the former naval chief’s trial as a trial against the Pakistan Navy. Musharraf’s government also did not try Mansurul Haq under the Naval Act but used the NAB law.
Mansurul Haq was retired and initially called by NAB in 1997-98 during the second stint of prime minister Nawaz Sharif, but later fled to the USA. After the departure of Nawaz Sharif, Musharraf aggressively pursued him, his case was taken up with the United States and he was forced to return to Pakistan and face the law.
Because of Musharraf’s personal interest, the admiral was apprehended in 2001 by the US government on charges of receiving commission as Chief of Naval Staff in the Agosta class submarine deals and was made to return to Pakistan after Musharraf sought his extradition from Washington. Upon his return he was handcuffed and arrested by NAB.
Haq was implicated in the Agosta submarine deal scandal in 1994 as naval chief besides facing allegations of corruption in the Pakistan National Shipping Corporation. He was sentenced to seven-year rigorous imprisonment in 2004 and fined Rs2 million. Haq, however, won the case on the Pakistan National Shipping Corporation charges after being kept under arrest for an extensive period. NAB challenged the court’s

decision.
Later, the National Accountability Bureau accepted an unprecedented offer from Mansurul Haq to pay about Rs457.5 million (US$7.5 million) – an equivalent of 1,270 years of his salary as an admiral or two years salary of all naval personnel in Pakistan – in exchange for his freedom and closure of all corruption cases.
Mansurul Haq was a naval chief and was facing charges of corruption and yet he was tried under the law of the land and that too by the then army chief and his government. The Pakistan Navy along with Pakistan Army and Pakistan Air Force constitute the Pakistan defence forces.
All the three defence forces, the Army, Air Force and Navy, have their importance for the defence and security of Pakistan. All three of them are disciplined forces. As against the Navy and Air Force, army generals have been instrumental in the abrogation of the Constitution and for the imposition of martial laws, which makes the army more controversial compared to the other two forces.
If Musharraf himself found it fit to try a naval chief as per the law of the land, how could he seek special treatment for himself despite the most serious nature of the crime he is charged with? In Musharraf’s case even a full bench of the apex court had ruled that he had abrogated the Constitution.
If criminal proceedings as pursued by the then army chief Gen Musharraf against former naval chief Mansurul Haq under ordinary civilians laws were not meant to ridicule or belittle the institution of the Pakistan Navy then Musharraf and his lawyers will have to explain how a case against a former army chief can become a trial of the institution as such.

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