Tuesday 17th December, ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s former dictator General Pervez Musharraf was pronounced death sentence in absentia in the high treason case for toppling the Constitution of Pakistan 2007. The sentence came as a shock in the current chaotic situation of judiciary where Nawaz Shareef, the convicted former PM, was granted medical bail and fellow convict Asif Ali Zardari was expected to flee as well. Where most people are viewing this decision a step towards trying military personal in accordance with the law, here is why the decision is bizarre and illogical:
1. Military Coups in Pakistan
Astonishingly, Pakistan has thrived a lot during military coups despite being a democratic country. There have been two coups before the Musharraf era (1999-2008); put by Ayub Khan in 1958 and Zia-ul-Haq in the year 1977. Here, it has to be noted that Musharraf will be the first military ruler to receive capital punishment in the country’s history. The previous two Generals were not only never tried on ‘violating the constitution’ but have also been acknowledged by the political for making the country progress. Given that General Mussharaf’s era was the time of continuous growth and economic development, this case at all seems a little biased.
People of Pakistan have always had this affiliation with the General, given he was the veteran of two wars and acted as a driver of economic prosperity in Pakistan. Angry public has made it to twitter to express their shock over the decision.
2. Trial Held in Absentia
The death penalty for Musharraf came out as the 76-year-old ailing General is under treatment in Dubai in a critical condition. As the trial was held without giving the chance to the defendant to prove himself in the court, the decision holds little value. This, as compared to the politicians who are convicted for mega level corruption in the country is a sheer case of hypocrisy as Ishaq Dar has fled the country and his case is delayed as the former Finance Minister is unable to present himself in court.
3. Law and Order Situation of Pakistan
Pakistan is facing the worst law and order situation since PM Imran Khan took oath in 2018. The country was expected to have fair trials and justice system as this was the main slogan put up by Khan’s party ‘Tehreek e Insaf’, but the opposite has been observed so far. In the previous year, despite promising justice, the courts have failed to declare fair verdicts on Sahiwal killings, Rape cases, and Mob attacks at Faizabad in the name of peaceful protests. In such a pathetic state of affairs, announcing death sentence to an ailing former general in a 6-year-old case is not heroic, but a vague attempt for face-saving at the poor delivery of justice.
4. Politicians and Medical Bails
Not long ago, disqualified PM Nawaz Shareef convicted for corruption has been granted bail on medical grounds by the courts, while many politicians in exile have been given medical relief by courts in Pakistan. The decision of Court with such precedents seems weak and low delivery of justice given that convicted President of Pakistan has also been granted bail on medical grounds.
Although people welcome the move to not put armed forced above the law, the decision as of now holds no true value. Many think that the decision is just an effort by the judiciary to let people off the current chaos in the country and the growing anger among the public for letting go of convicted politicians.