With Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif fine-tuning the legal battle against his archrival and former dictator General (r) Pervez Musharraf, the legal team of the former army chief is also busy formulating their strategy to contest the cases against the former COAS in courts.
Well-placed sources told Pakistan Today that the PM held a detailed meeting with Attorney General Munir A Malik at the PM’s office. Malik also has a personal vendetta against Musharraf, as the AG’s Karachi residence was attacked during lawyers’ movement by gunmen in year 2007 and bullets were fired at his house in his absence.
Only some two kilometers away from Prime Minister’s Office, Musharraf’s legal team met to discuss the future strategy. Musharraf’s chief lawyer, Ahmed Raza Kasuri, met the general at his farmhouse hours before the meeting.
Kasuri told Pakistan Today that Musharraf’s team was working on a strategy to take down all abettors and facilitators along if Musharraf sank.
“Musharraf thinks that the incumbent chief justice has influence over the fellow judges and he is misusing his influence against him. The biased CJP is going to retire in December and with his retirement, his period of witch-hunt would also be over and the new CJP would act to deliver justice,” he added.
Kasuri added that Musharraf’s legal team was working to include all judges, generals and politicians who had indemnified the military intervention of 1999.
“If Musharraf is going to be held accountable, he has to be accountable for 1999 coup. In such a situation, all corps commanders, army top brass, judges of Supreme Court and top politicians who had indemnified the coup would also be tried,” he added.
He did not argue the opinion of some analysts that the judiciary and parliament had indemnified the 1999 coup.
“Rather, parliament in 18th Amendment had done away with the indemnification to 1999 coup,” he said, adding that Article 270(AA) had taken off the umbrella of protection to 1999 coup.
“The 17th Amendment and also the law of necessity in Zafar Ali Shah case had been withdrawn in the 18th Amendment. So now if Musharraf is to be prosecuted for 2007 emergency, the court would have to look into the 1999 coup d’état. And all judges, corps commanders, chairman joint chiefs of staff committee (JCSC), all political parties’ heads would have to be prosecuted along with Musharraf,” Kasuri added.
The senior lawyer said he had visited Musharraf and found him in high spirits and confidence.
” Musharraf is a brave man. Soon after the hearing of the case (of high treason) in Supreme Court, I had a 90-minute meeting with him on Monday. He was full of confidence. He has fought three wars with Indians and faced most difficult situations in life. He thinks that he would get justice from the superior judiciary,” said Kasuri.
Asked whether Musharraf thought top judges were biased against him, Kasuri said Musharraf was positive and he believed the judges of the Supreme Court were not biased.
Talking about the challan filed by the FIA against General Musharraf, Kasuri said the police challan in Benazir Bhutto case was a mere “working paper” and nothing else.
“In terms of law, a challan is a version of the police and nothing else and such challans have no worth in view of law. This is a house of cards raised by police which would fall down when cross examination starts. It’s a long procedure and may take years to establish anything against the ousted general,” he added.
Kasuri said actions against Musharraf were fast making the general a hero. “You know in the subcontinent, the people love those who are subjected to witch-hunts and politics of vengeance. Nawaz is trying to divert public anger from his government’s failed budget,” he added.
APML secretary information Aasia Ishaque also looked positive.
“This is a failed attempt on part of Nawaz to shift the people’s focus from the budget debacle by his party. But let me tell you, the people cannot be deceived anymore. They know they are being taxed many a times by the PML-N government,” Aasia said.