ISLAMABAD: Former Senate chairman Raza Rabbani on Friday said that those coming out in support of former president General (r) Pervez Musharraf were committing an historical injustice.
In a statement made in reaction to the release of the detailed verdict of a special court in the high treason case against the former president, Rabbani remarked that efforts now seemed to be underway to safeguard Musharraf.
A special court had on Tuesday convicted Musharraf for high treason and handed him the death penalty on five counts. On Thursday afternoon, the detailed verdict in the case had been issued by the court.
“Efforts are being made to give support to someone who went against the Constitution. Lending support to the one who went against the Constitution is an injustice to history,” Rabbani said.
Rabbani, who belongs to the Pakistan People’s Party, noted that praise was being offered to a person who had disrespected the rule of law and democratic institutions in Pakistan.
After the release of the detailed verdict on Thursday, government officials had condemned the ruling and indicated that the state would file a reference against the authoring judge.
The three-member bench which heard the case comprised Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth of the Peshawar High Court, Justice Nazar Akbar of the Sindh High Court and Justice Shahid Karim of the Lahore High Court.
In the 2-1 guilty verdict issued on Tuesday, Justice Nazar Akbar had dissented from the conviction, while the other two judges found Musharraf guilty and sentenced him to death.
Justice Seth, in paragraph 66 of the ruling, had said, “We direct the Law Enforcement Agencies to strive their level best to apprehend the fugitive/convict and to ensure that the punishment is inflicted as per law and if found dead, his corpse be dragged to the D-Chowk, Islamabad, Pakistan and be hanged for 3 days.”
It should be mentioned that this was his individual view and not concurred with by any of the other two judges on the bench.
Reacting to the paragraph, which attracted a lot of attention in the media over the past day, Rabbani said, “One cannot support Para 66 of the special court ruling. Legal recourse is available to those affected by para 66.”
He noted that the affected person could go to court to have the para removed from the verdict. “The affected person can file an appeal against the verdict,” Rabbani maintained.
Rabbani also spoke out against the efforts of the government to invoke Article 209 of the Supreme Judicial Council against Justice Seth. Under the article, a judge can tried for misconduct by fellow judges of superior courts.
“A petition against the court ruling cannot be filed under Article 209,” Rabbani argued, adding that, “such a step would be in violation of article 10(A) of the constitution.”