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Zardari, not Gen Kayani, restored judges: Rehman Malik

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November 14, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Chairman Senate’s Committee on Interior and senior leader of the Pakistan People’s Party Senator Abdul Rehman Malik in a wide ranging interview to The News and Jang revealed that it was former president Asif Ali Zardari who took the decision of Restoration of the Judges not of General (retd) Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani.

In an interview with a panel of The News and Jang, he narrated the incidents of restoration of the judges, dialogue between Benazir Bhutto Shaheed and General (retd) Pervez Musharraf, the conspiracy to dissolve the PPP government and also spoke on the accountability laws in the country as well as calls for the formation of Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Turning a leaf from history, former interior minister Rehman Malik said when General (R) Pervez Musharraf was the president and the leadership of the PML-Q was making statements against the leadership of the PPP, then he went to Musharraf with a proposal to change the leadership of the PML-Q but Musharraf rejected his proposal, saying that he could not do as the Chaudhry Brothers were his close friends. “Then I told him that if the PML-Q leadership was not changed, then he should be ready to face impeachment,” he said adding during the negotiations, the name of Manzoor Wattoo also came under discussion as a alternative leadership of the PML-Q but there was no agreement on Manzoor Wattoo. While giving the reasons for the resignation of the ex-President General (R) Pervez Musharraf, Senator Rehman Malik said General (R) Musharraf hatched a conspiracy to dissolve the PPP government through using Article 58 (2) b of the Constitution and it was drafted at the Governor House in Karachi, which was vetted by an Ex-Judge of the Supreme Court. “But I got information of it and immediately brought this into knowledge of Asif Ali Zardari, who was in China at that time. He foil this attempt and decided to impeach General (R) Pervez Musharraf,” he said.

Giving details of another page of history with regard to restoration of the judges, Senator Rehman Malik revealed that it was Asif Ali Zardari who made the decision of restoration of Judges not General (R) Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

Narrating the story of restoration of Judges, Senator Rehman Malik said he was Interior Minister at that time and he got an information that Nawaz Sharif, Qazi Hussain Ahmed and Imran Khan will be in one truck in long march and there was an intelligence report that a suicide attack will be made on them so he sent a message to Nawaz Sharif asking him that he should make a speech through screen but he refused. I was chairing a meeting in which DG Rangers, Secretary Ministry of Interior and IGs were in the meeting and it was our decision for the restoration of the judges as if the suicide attack was made on Nawaz Sharif then it would be difficult for the government to continue. I made a telephone call to President Zardari at 12.00 am and told him about the whole situation and convince Asif Ali Zardari for the restoration of judges.

A call was made to General Hilal who made a call to the Prime Minister and then a meeting was convene in which the then Army Chief was also invited and in that meeting Asif Ali Zardari told the Chief of Army Staff that they were restoring the judges.

Asif Ali Zardar also requested General Kayani to make a phone call to Aitzaz Ahsan, who was leading the movement. The draft for the restoration of judges was prepared which was to be announced by Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani and speech was telecast at 6 a.m in the morning,” he said.

To a question regarding the presentation of Guard of Honour to General (R) Pervez Musharraf, he said the PPP did not give him guard of honour but it was part of the protocol which was given to every President who left from the Presidency and it was also given to Asif Ali Zardari and Mamnoon Hussain.

While talking about the NRO between Shaheed Benazir Bhutto and General (R) Pervez Musharraf, Senator Rehman Malik said the PPP never signed NRO with Musharraf as NRO was for anyone else but not for the PPP as Benazir Bhutto only talked about the transition of power from dictatorship to democracy. “During the talks with Shaheed Benazir Bhutto at Dubai Palace, General (R) Pervez Musharraf asked her to come to Pakistan after elections but she refused and said it will be her on decision to go to the country. “

He continued, ”it was also conveyed to Benazir Bhutto that all her cases would be taken back if she returns to the country after general elections but she refused. Shaheed Benazir Bhutto returned to the country. The draft of the NRO was drafted by General Hamid.”

Senator Rehman Malik said after the meeting between General (R) Pervez Musharraf, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi and Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed were ready to hold meeting with Shaheed Benazir Bhutto but she refused.

He said the PPP never sought any NRO and if anyone could prove it he was ready to quit the politics for ever. To a question about the perception that he was inducted in the government job by Chaudhry Zahoor Elahi, Senator Rehman Malik said he respected Chaudhry Zahoor Elahi but he was not inducted in the bureaucracy by Chaudhry Zahoor.

Senator Rehman Malik proposed the role of Parliament in the appointment of Chairman National Accountability Bureau to follow the collective wisdom instead of appointment through two individuals and formation of Truth Reconciliation Commission to accept the mistakes of the past and to move ahead.

Rehman Malik talked about the issue of accountability and said in the whole world has the mechanism of collective wisdom for the key appointments but in Pakistan it was made on the wisdom of two leaders—Prime Minister and Opposition Leader—rather than collective wisdom of the Parliament.

Senator Rehman Malik said the accountability laws were also framed in the past as in the tenure of General Ayub Khan the EBDO (Elected Bodies Disqualification Order), ex-Prime Minister Muhammad Khan Junejo introduced the small cars, Nawaz Sharif introduced the Ehtesab Commission and then Musharraf came out with the NAB laws that targeted one segment of the society. “Whether only politicians are corrupt in Pakistan as there was no corruption in bureaucracy,” he questioned and said there should be mechanism for the accountability of all.

He said there were legal lacunas in Musharraf’s NAB Laws as it only targeted one faction of the society. If accountability laws were used for the politicians then the voices for discrimination and victimization would have been raised. ‘When there was controlled politics then there would be controlled democracy,” he said.

Senator Rehman Malik said the accountability laws would remain controversial unless and until these would not be revisited in which the accountability be made for all without the shadow of discrimination and political victimization.

The former Interior Minister said the PPP in its previous tenure brought a reforms package in the accountability laws but it was shot down by the PML-N.

While giving the example of political victimization during the regime of General (R) Pervez Musharraf, Senator Rehman Malik said someone made a whisper in the ears of Musharraf that Benazir Bhutto Shaheed did not possess the graduation degree and Musharraf introduced the Law of having graduation degree for the Parliamentarians but when the law formulated and started to implement then Benazir Bhutto Shaheed made her graduation degree, public” he said.

Abdul Rehman Malik called for formation of Truth and Reconciliation Commission in which all the institutions and individuals must admit their mistakes of the past. “I will volunteer myself to appear before the Truth and Reconciliation if formed,” he said.

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