Govt gives former minister Hamid clean chit in treason case, Law Ministry pins blame on then law secy Ajmal Mian for moving Nov 3 emergency summary
Former federal minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Zahid Hamid has challenged the verdict of the special court hearing the high treason case against former dictator Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf which called for the inclusion of Hamid’s name in the list of abettors.
Hamid, who had stepped down as federal minister following the special court’s judgment, filed an application in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Saturday through Advocate Khawaja Haris in which the Interior Ministry, Musharraf and the Special Court have been made parties.
The applicant contended that the special court’s November 21 decision was not according to law and therefore it should be declared null and void.
In its verdict on November 21, the special court directed the federal government to include the names of former prime minister Shaukat Aziz, former law minister Zahid Hamid and former chief justice of Pakistan Abdul Hameed Dogar as abettors in the treason case against former dictator Pervez Musharraf.
GOVT GIVES CLEAN CHIT TO HAMID:
However on Friday, the federal government absolved Hamid from the treason charges in the Musharraf case.
In its detailed presentation, which was prepared in response to the special court’s November 21 judgment and which will be presented to the prime minister, the Law Ministry held that after submission of final challan against the accused (Musharraf), there was no reason to put others on trial, a stance the prosecution has already exhausted.
The ministry mentioned that Hamid had played no active role in the promulgation of emergency rule on November 3, 2007 and the then law secretary Muhammad Ajmal Mian was responsible for moving the summary for emergency.
The ministry also questioned the mandate and jurisdiction of the Justice Faisal Arab-led Special Court. But the ministry could not clearly advise the PM which specific action should be taken to counter the “far-reaching implication of the judgement”.
FEDERAL GOVT SEEKS TIME:
On the other hand, the federal government has sought reasonable time from the special court to examine the judgment. The court will take up the case on December 9. It is the first time the federal government has sought adjournment in the case, a member of the defence team said.
The prosecutors in the case refused to pursue the case further in case the federal government put abettors in the treason trial, saying that there will be no end of such proceedings.
A leading member of the prosecution team told a news channel that the PM would take the final decision on the reply of the Law Ministry and advice of the prosecution team. But he said the government can disband the special court in the interest of justice because it has “transgressed its legal limits and assumed the role of a normal court”.
The members of a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) formed by the federal government also claimed that it was not allowed to carry out impartial and thorough enquiry into the case, a fact denied by the Interior Ministry.
The JIT members also alleged that Hamid had influenced the investigation process. However, Hamid denied the allegation.