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Sunday Dec 22 2019
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Musharraf’s supporters say their leader denied justice

LONDON: Supporters of Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf have alleged that the former president has been treated unfairly and that he doesn’t deserve the death sentence after being tried under Article 6 of the Constitution of Pakistan for high treason.

Activists of All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) gathered outside  the Pakistan High Commission to “demand justice for Pervez Musharraf” and to register condemnation of the “politically motivated” cases against their leader.

Afzal Siddiqui, President APML Overseas, Saeed Bhatti, President APML UK, Asif Shahzad, Adam Gheeasuddin, General Secretary APML UK, Fehmeeda Abbasi, President Women Wing APML UK, Altaf Shahid and others led the protest.

They raised slogans in Musharraf's support and said that the former military dictator had brought a lot of development to Pakistan and under him Pakistan earned respect in the world. They claimed that Musharraf’s years in power were a “golden era” for Pakistan and he dealt effectively against terrorism. The protestors said that the verdict delivered by the Islamabad Special Court against Musharraf is unfair.

Afzal Siddiqui said that the APML condemned paragraph 66 which contained remarks that Musharraf’s body should be dragged and hanged at D-Chowk for three days. He claimed that Musharraf was not given right to a fair trial and the way this trial was initiated and conducted showed that it has always been an exercise of “revenge”.

He criticized former chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry for instructing the government to try Musharraf under Article 6. He said that it became clear when a Supreme Court judge openly mocked the former president.

“The political, fabricated and fraudulent nature of the case may also be gauged from the fact that it was hastily concluded without hearing the former president, sentencing him in absentia, restricting the latter from presenting evidence and by aggressively dismissing the noble efforts of the law minister and the attorney general for remedying earlier serious politicised legal shortcomings. The new prosecution team was not even granted the time to study the case.”

A petition presented to diplomats at Pakistan High Commission said that holding the constitution in abeyance was not an offence according to the Pakistani constitution in 2007. Only later in 2010 through the 18th amendment, the text of Article 6 was modified to make abeyance of the constitution an offense, it said.

The petition thanked Imran Khan’s government “for parting ways with the previous regime and for taking steps to ensure fairness”.

“We ask to declare null and void this bizarre special court judgment and reject all malicious attempts to label Musharraf a “traitor.” The honourable Musharraf has fought wars for Pakistan and was the beloved chief of Pakistan Army. His tenure witnessed unprecedented growth of the Pakistani economy and led to the betterment of the Pakistani people. Musharraf can never be a traitor.”