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January 18, 2020

Defendant’s rights

Newspost

 
January 18, 2020

This letter refers to the editorial ‘Complicated case’ (Jan 15, 2020). The editorial raises many questions on the judgment passed by the Lahore High Court setting aside the conviction of former president Pervez Musharraf for declaring a state of emergency on November 3, 2007. A state of emergency is imposed under extreme conditions when the state machinery stands in ruins, as was happening at that time. Hearings in the case against Musharraf began in 2013 and a verdict could have been rendered before he left Pakistan for medical treatment abroad in 2016. It is true that he was summoned many a times but how could a sick person come and present himself.

We have allowed an already convicted person to leave the country for treatment abroad and therefore cannot stop any sick person from leaving the country on the premise that he is facing cases. No one can be condemned without first being heard, the law is very clear that if there is even an iota of doubt the benefit goes to the accused.

Lt Col (r) Mukhtar Ahmed Butt

Karachi