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December 18, 2019

‘Verdict to strengthen rule of law’

December 18, 2019

LAHORE:Members of civil society organisations say they are opposed to death penalty as a principle, therefore, they do not support death to Gen (Retd) Pervez Musharraf, but they termed the judgment of death sentence to him under high treason a historic decision which would block the path of army generals imposing martial law in future.

Tanveer Jahan, director at Democratic Commission for Human Development (DCHD), says: “As a human rights activist, I oppose death sentence of Musharraf as I believe in complete abolition of death penalty in Pakistan. We are against death penalty of all criminals in principal.”

The decision has historical importance says, Bushra Khaliq, Executive Director Women in Struggle for Empowerment (WISE). According to her, it is a victory of democracy and after this decision no one can derail democracy. Civil supremacy was a dream in this country; the decision is a warning for those who believe in adventure.

The decision will strengthen rule of law in the country, we have been demanded for supremacy of law for long time, she said. No one is above the law, she said. The judiciary had awarded death sentence to former Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and one minute punishment to former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in the past and it was thought that judiciary only punished politicians. Now the scenario has changed after the decision issued by special court against Musharraf, said Bushra.

Farooq Tariq, a right activist and trade union leader, says, “The decision has significance and will create hindrance in military misadventures in Pakistan. His death penalty must be changed into life imprisonment as CSOs and human rights organisation are totally against death penalty in Pakistan.

Mohammad Tahseen, Executive Director South Asia Partner (SAP), appreciated the verdict announced by the special court. According to him, it challenges the history of impunity for those who abrogated law of the country. Democracy will flourish and continue without any interruption after this decision, he said.