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Web Desk
December 19, 2019

Musharraf case: Govt to move Supreme Judicial Council against judge Waqar Seth


Web Desk
Thu, Dec 19, 2019

ISLAMABAD:  The government has decided to move Supreme Judicial Council against judge Waqar Ahmed Seth over his controversial observation in the detailed judgment of the high treason case sentencing former military dictator Pervez Musharraf to death.

A special court, which sentenced General (retd) Pervez Musharraf to death over high treason earlier this week, issued its detailed verdict on the matter today.

Law Minister Farogh Naseem and Special Assistant to Prime Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan addressed a press conference, hours after the special court announced a detailed verdict regarding the former military ruler Pervez Musharraf's high treason case. 

In the press conference, Law Minister Farogh Naseem said: "He (judge Seth) is incompetent and should be restrained from discharging any administrative or judicial duties immediately."

Naseem, while calling Justice Seth ‘mentally unfit’, said that the government will urge the Supreme Judicial Council to stop the judge from working. 

Basing the argument on the paragraph  66 of the detailed verdict, Naseem said: "He (Justice Seth) has written that we direct all law enforcement agencies to arrest Musharraf and punish him according to the law. He has further written that if he is found dead, his corpse be dragged to D-Chowk and hanged for three days."

The special court in its detailed verdict today dismissed criticism of a trial conducted 'in haste', stating that Musharraf had “been afforded more than his due share of fair trial” and “given every opportunity to defend himself”.

The court further said that “the facts of the case are well documented” and “clearly demonstrate guilt on part of the accused”.

'My head hung in shame after reading detailed verdict'

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar said that he felt ashamed after reading the controversial paragraph.

"My head hung in shame after reading the detailed verdict," he said. Referring to the special court judge, he said,"You have also taken an oath to obey the law."

He said that the government had other "serious concerns" over the verdict.

"The government has serious concerns. We think that others should also be included in this case," he said. "Based on these issues and deliberations, the government has decided to appeal the verdict."

Akbar continued regarding the paragraph 66:"Whoever wrote this observation is not a friend of Pakistan."

Akbar said that the judge should have interpreted the law and not made a new one instead. "As a student of law, I feel ashamed," he said, referring to the paragraph.

Akbar said that the verdict had flouted international laws. He said that it was important to find out how the controversial paragraph was inserted in the verdict.

"The mode and manner in which this trial was conducted is suspicious," he said. "Trial in absentia cannot be conducted. However, we saw that it did take place," he added.

He said that the verdict had made Pakistan a laughing stock in front of the whole country. Akbar said that the judge had spoiled the entire case by giving the judgement.

"Should we take steps that cause institutions to clash with one another," he asked.

Akbar said that the government had reservations about how the trial was conducted. He said that a fair trial of the former military dictator should have been held. 

Earlier today, DG ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor addressed an important press conference, where he said that the words used in the verdict are beneath any civil discourse.

"The fears that were expressed after the special court's Dec 17 short judgment, those fears are being proven true," DG ISPR Maj Gen Ghafoor said.

The court had sentenced Musharraf to death on Tuesday for imposing a state of emergency on November 3, 2007, adding that it had found him guilty of high treason in accordance with Article 6 of the Constitution of Pakistan.