Posts Tagged ‘Nawaz Sharif’


Lal Masjid Operation (2007) VS Nawaz Government’s Model Town Operation (2014): A Comparison

July 2, 2014

Written by Usman Sheikh

T1According to media reports, a little over a dozen members of Tahir ul Qadri’s Minhaj ul Quran and his supporters have been killed as a result of the unusually brutal attack launched by the Lahore police upon the residence of Tahir ul Qadri (16 – 17 June 2014).  Hundreds are seriously injured and it is feared that some of them may succumb to their injuries in the coming days. Many civilians are said to be missing as well.

There is no need at the moment to compose a detailed analysis of this saga as the facts seem to be reasonably clear – and here we should, surprisingly, thank some segments of the Pakistani media for doing a good job – a rare accomplishment indeed.

Briefly, however, we know that:

  • the police simply began shooting at unarmed civilians and murdered many;
  • the excuse utilised by the police to approach Tahir ul Qadri’s residence, namely, to remove alleged “illegal” barriers, also appears to be bogus (these barriers were there for over 3 years upon the orders of the High Court, as clarified by Tahir ul Qadri);
  • the media has shown that a well known thug of PML-N – “Gullu” Butt – was leading/directing the police, charging at unarmed civilians and smashing car windows under police protection;
  • the cameras also show the police looting/damaging local shops in an effort to lay the false blame upon the followers of Tahir ul Qadri;
  • the media has reported that the Lahore police have been busy harassing the injured followers of Tahir ul Qadri, that they have attempted to falsify the medical records and have attempted to exaggerate their own minor injuries in the medical reports;
  • the media has also reported – on the basis of insider information – that the Lahore police planned a fake “attack” upon their own police stations by plain clothed police officers in order to cast the blame upon the supporters of Tahir ul Qadri;
  • last but not least, the police continue to hold many civilians in various locations, subjecting them to intense tortureState-Terrorism-I

While certain matters of detail may be unclear, there is, however, absolutely no dispute over the following fact: the police murdered unarmed civilians in cold blood and acted in a thuggish manner adopting terror tactics. It is noteworthy that members of the PML-N also do not dispute this main fact.

The below is a brief comparison of the above referred police operation with an earlier operation which took place in Islamabad in 2007, namely, the Army operation against the terrorists of the Lal Masjid/Jamia Hafsa during the Musharraf Government.

I will be arguing that State terror took place in the Model Town operation whereas the operation against the Lal Masjid/Jamia Hafsa management in 2007 was legitimate and justified.

I will:

  • Compare the actions and statements of Tahir ul Qadri’s followers with those of  the  Lal Masjid/Jamia Hafsa management;
  • Compare the effort by the State to minimise civilian casualties in 2014 and in 2007;
  • Show that virtually every (false) allegation heaped towards the Musharraf regime in regard to the 2007 Lal Masjid/Jamia Hafsa operation actually holds true when it comes to the 2014 Model Town operation by the Nawaz regime

I will be summarising points regarding the Lal Masjid / Jamia Hafsa management from the following source:

Suo Motu Case No. 09/2007

Title: Lal Masjid-Jamia Hafsa Incident: The Report Of The Commission

Author: Justice Shahzado Shaikh (Judge, Federal Shariat Court / Commission)

Table of Contents

  1. Before the Operation: Acts & Deeds of the  Lal Masjid / Jamia Hafsa Management & Tahir ul Qadri’s Followers
  2. The Demands
  3. The Threats
  4. Negotiations: Government’s Attempt to Achieve a Peaceful Resolution
  5. Civilian Casualties: Killing Imaginary and Real unarmed Men & Women 
  6. Missing Persons
  7. Quran Desecration
  8. Who to Blame: President, Prime Minister, Chief Minister, Law Minister etc.
  9. Conclusion

1. Before the Operation: Acts & Deeds of the Lal Masjid / Jamia Hafsa Management & Tahir ul Qadri’s Followers

Lal Masjid Management: 

they built mosques on illegally occupied land;

  • they occupied the Children’s Library in Islamabad;
  • they terrorised the locals, attacked shops and kidnapped people, including police officers;
  • they burnt down the Ministry of Environment building and damaged government/public property;
  • they threatened suicide bombings on multiple occasions and boasted about their links with terrorists (e.g. “Maulana Aziz had told his students that victory was near,”We have spoken to our brothers in the tribal areas and a host of other warriors, including Baitullah Mehsud, who would soon be coming to Islamabad for our support.“” (p. 29) – Regarding suicide bombings, the Lal Masjid Commission Report quotes Maulana Abdul Aziz as follows: “The suicide attackers are ready to operate anywhere inside Pakistan . . . Our students enjoy the moment when Police or Rangers operation looms, and they get bored when the situation normalizes . . . the suicide attacks were right in Pakistan in few circumstances while they were absolutely justified in the context of Afghanistan and Iraq” (pp. 40-41));
  • prior to 2007, Lal Masjid students ransacked shops, burnt Melody Cinema, and at least one person was burnt alive inside (p.​ 49)
  • The Lal Masjid clergy declared that those fighting Pakistani forces were martyrs and urged people not to give Islamic burial to the Pakistani soldiers killed in fighting (pp. 49-50);
  • Ghazi Abdul Rasheed gave a statement that Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad had become a brothel and women associated with the University were immoral and he mentioned throwing acids on their faces (p. 38);·
  • Lal Masjid Management killed an officer, which finally led to an operation. According to the Lal Masjid Commission Report: Lal Masjid inmates killed a Ranger personnel – Lance Naik Mubarik Hussain. This started a battle between the Lal Masjid inmates and the security forces (p. 44);
  • In the media campaign, the Ghazi brothers claimed that they had some 7,000 trained men and as many women ready to resist any government attempt to dislodge them, even if that meant carrying out suicide attacks (p. 52)
  • The Lal Masjid Commission Report cites Maulana Aziz declaring the imposition of a competing justice system where they (Lal Masjid Management) would enforce law and order and issue punishments: “Today we are announcing Shariah in the area which is in our control where every decision will be taken according to Shariah and injunction of Islam” (p. 34);

Minhaj ul Quran:

No acts of violence whatsoever and no threats. Followers of Tahir ul Qadri have a history of being peaceful and pro-democracy. Tahir ul Qadri is also the author of a substantial fatwa against terrorism in the name of Islam: Fatwa On Terrorism And Suicide Bombings, 2010, Minhaj-ul-Quran International (UK) – this is a 475 page volume and has been endorsed by scholars such as Prof. John L. Esposito (George Town University) and Dr Joel S. Hayward (Kings College London).

2. The Demands

Lal Masjid Management:

  • Nothing short of a Saudi styled Wahabi system in Pakistan: 06 June 2007 – Maulana Abdul Rasheed Ghazi met the Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan and issued a statement declaring that only a system similar as Saudi Arabia would be acceptable. He also stated that he did not want a civil war in Pakistan, but was only struggling for Islam (p. 41);
  • Construction of all the Mosques which were demolished in Islamabad [note: illegally constructed mosques on land not belonging to the Lal Masjid administration] (p. 36);
  • Enforcement of Sharia in the country – the type of “Sharia” deemed “acceptable” by the Taliban, Saudi and, of course, the Lal Masjid Management;·
  • Abdul Aziz came up with fresh demands: asking for ‘nifaz-i-shariat’ across the country with immediate effect and demanding President Musharraf to announce Islamization in the country in his address to the nation (p. 31);

Their demands were so outrageously unrealistic and ridiculous and even Deobandi and Wahabi scholars were forced to condemn the Lal Masjid Management:

  • 2 May 2007 – Imam-e-Kaaba met with Ejaz ul Haq (Minister for Religious Affairs) and said that Islam did not allow anyone to raise illegal construction over any state or private property even for the purpose of construction of Mosques. (p. 37);·
  • Imam-e-Kaaba also said that in the presence of a government, no individual can establish his own Shariat Court (p. 37);·
  • Imam-e-Kaaba also said that it was unfortunate that the Lal Masjid administration had not acted upon the advice of Mufti Taqi Usmani (p. 37);
  • Qari Hanif Jalandhari stated that the occupation of the children’s library by the students of Jamia Hafsa / Lal Masjid was an uncalled for act, which had no sanction in the Shariah (p. 30);
  • On 07 April 2007, the President of Wafaq ul Maddarass, Maulana Saleem Ullah Khan, said in his public statement that the Lal Masjid administration through its actions has provided an excuse for the operation (p. 32);·
  • The Wafaqul Madarras also ended the affiliation of Jamia [Hafsa] (p. 34);·
  • Allama Taqi Usmani, Qari Saeed ur Rehman and others had expressed concern about the situation. Wafaqul Madaris had suspended the registration of Jamia Faridia and Jamia Hafsa. No notable ulema agreed with Ghazi brothers. Religious parties did not agree with their approach and there was no political support for their call. Ulema declared occupation of Children’s Library as un-Islamic (p. 91);Lal Masjid terrorists

It should also be noted that the Lal Masjid Management also refused to accept the compromise/agreement reached between the Government and the Deobandi body called Wafaq ul Madaris (The compromise between the Government and the Wafaq ul Madarrass was rejected by the management of Lal Masjid (p. 30)).

Minhaj ul Quran:

Imposition of a genuine grassroots democratic system in the country, where there is a truly free and independent Election Commission, with a complete adherence to the Constitution of Pakistan (in particular, Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution, to ensure competent/honest individuals contest elections). They talk about the implementation of genuine justice, promotions based on merit alone, and call for the protection of minority rights in Pakistan.

3. The Threats

Lal Masjid Management:

As seen above, the Lal Masjid / Jamia Hafsa Management issued threats of conducting suicide bombings on multiple occasions. The following threats and acts of terror are summarised from the Lal Masjid Commission Report:

  • Maulana Abdul Qayyum, spokesman of Lal Masjid Administration, said that suicide bombers of Lal Masjid had been granted permission to find targets and strike wherever they chose to (p. 44);
  • Maulana Abdul Qayyum said, “In fact, that has already been done. It was previously decided that if we come under attack, then we will give this permission to the suicide bombers to strike. So, they have been given permission to strike anywhere at any time.” (pp. 44 – 45);
  • Taking advantage of the restraint shown by the security forces, the Lal Masjid fighters stormed the official buildings, government school, and also damaged public property (p. 44);
  • Lal Masjid fighters set fire to the M/O Environment building in front of Jamia Hafsa where the security forces were positioned (p. 44);
  • Vehicles of high officials of the ministry were burnt (p. 45);
  • Khateeb publicly threatened suicide bombing (p. 52);
  • In the media campaign, the Ghazi brothers claimed that they had some 7,000 trained men and as many women ready to resist any government attempt to dislodge them, even if that meant carrying out suicide attacks (p. 52);
  • Suicide attacks took place after the Lal Masjid operation – Intelligence reports pointed towards links with suicide bombers and Taliban (p. 52);
  • 26 June 2007 – Islamabad police prevented an incident where they checked the movement of a group of armed Taliban riding in two vehicles which came out from the Lal Masjid at around 01:00 p.m. and were heading towards the covered market (pp. 42-43);
  • 16 June 2007 – Maulana Abdul Aziz issued a death decree against the staff of a magazine for publishing a fashion shoot advertisement titled “Adam and Eve.” (p. 41);
  • Students of Jamia Faridia E-7 Islamabad abducted three police officers. They were released after a warning from the Ministry of Interior (p. 40);
  • 30 May 2007 – Maulana Abdul Aziz claimed that Lal masjid Administration had more than 10,000 suicide bombers in the Mosque premises and more than 1,00,000 in Pakistan (p. 40);
  • Lal Masjid Commission Report quotes Maulana Abdul Aziz as follows: “The suicide attackers are ready to operate anywhere inside Pakistan . . . Our students enjoy the moment when Police or Rangers operation looms, and they get bored when the situation normalizes . . . the suicide attacks were right in Pakistan in few circumstances while they were absolutely justified in the context of Afghanistan and Iraq” (pp. 40-41);
  • Ghazi Abdul Rasheed gave a statement that Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad had become a brothel and women associated with the University were immoral and he mentioned throwing acids on their faces (p. 38);
  • “Maulana Aziz had told his students that victory was near, “We have spoken to our brothers in the tribal areas and a host of other warriors, including Baitullah Mehsud, who would soon be coming to Islamabad for our support.”” (p. 29);

Minhaj ul Quran:

None. They have a record of being peaceful and not engaging in any acts of violence. The Minhaj is a scholarly organisation set up by a trained, qualified and a highly respected scholar from the normative Islamic tradition.

4. Negotiations: Government’s Attempt to Achieve a Peaceful Resolution

Lal Masjid Management:

The Government of Shaukat Aziz in 2007 engaged in intense negotiations with the terrorist Lal Masjid / Jamia Hafsa Management for almost 6 months. The Shaukat Aziz Government also reached out to Deobandi and Wahabi scholars / organisations to achieve a peaceful resolution. The Shaukat Aziz Government continued to avoid the operation even though there was no doubt that the Lal Masjid / Jamia Hafsa Management consisted of terrorists, had engaged in acts of terror and were making ridiculously impossible demands – ridiculous enough to even annoy Deobandi and Wahabi scholars.

Lal Masjid - Suicide Bombers

The following is summarised from the Lal Masjid Commission Report:

  • Government Agreed to Rebuild the Illegally Constructed Mosques: 19 June 2007 – Ejaz ul Haq said the CDA had issued notification to construct some Mosques and asked the Lal Masjid management to cease occupation of the Children Library (p. 41);  He said Masjid Amir Hamza would be built on its original place (p 41); He said masjid Ibn-e-Abbas would be built on a separate plot by the CDA, who would bear the entire construction cost (p. 41); He said a plot had been selected for Masjid Al-Saffa (p. 41); He said the construction of Masjid Hamza F-10/3 would start in F-10/3 on a plot measuring 90X70 (P. 41);
  • Compromise Rejected by Lal masjid / Jamia Hafsa Management: On 03 February 2007, a meeting was held between the Ministry of Interior – represented by Aftab Ahmad Sherpao – and the Wafaq ul Madarras to resolve the issue of Lal Masjid. In this meeting, it was decided that the Amir Hamza Mosque would be reconstructed on its original place and that a committee comprising ICT administration and Ulema would be constituted to decide the matter pertaining to other Mosques. This decision was relayed in a joint press conference. In this press conference, Qari Hanif Jalandhari stated that the occupation of the children’s library by the students of Jamia Hafsa / Lal Masjid was an uncalled for act, which had no sanction in the Shariah (p. 30). This compromise between the Government and the Wafaq ul Madarrass was rejected by the management of Lal Masjid (p. 30);
  • On 09 February 2007, in order to avoid bloodshed, the government temporarily postponed the operation once 500 students equipped with batons came out of the Mosque and raised slogans against the administration (p. 31);
  • On 11 February 2007, a delegation of ulema held talks with the Ghazi brothers in the Lal Masjid. But the deadlock persisted (p. 31);
  • The delegation of Ulema met with Ijaz ul Haq. In this meeting it was decided that the religious scholars would give another chance to talks with Lal Masjid management. The Government, on the other hand, decided to start the construction of the Amir Hamza Mosque (p. 31);
  • Ijaz ul Haq explained to newsmen that the talks between Lal Masjid management and the ulema failed because Abdul Aziz came up with fresh demands: asking for ‘nifaz-i-shariat’ across the country with immediate effect and demanding President Musharraf to announce Islamization in the country in his address to the nation (p. 31);
  • In a meeting between Aftab Sherpao, Ijaz ul Haq and Wafaq ul Madarrass, a committee was constituted with a mandate to deliberate on the issues relating to the illegal construction of mosques and encroachment by mosques and madrassas in Islamabad, and make recommendations to the concerned authorities to decide these issues (p. 32);
  • The telephone and water connections in the Jamia Hafsa were also restored (p. 32);
  • Ghazi Abdul Rasheed, while lauding the role of Wafaq ul Madarrass, stated that the students of Jamia Hafsa would continue to hold the Library until the reconstruction of all the six mosques demolished during last two and a half years (p. 32);
  • Musharraf’s Reluctance to Carry Out Operation: 29 June 2007 – Addressing the media, Musharraf said [as cited by Lal Masjid Commission Report]: “I am not a coward person . . . but the issue is tomorrow you will say what have you done. There are women and children inside” (p. 43);
  • On 09 April 2007, the top leadership of the country decided to give negotiations another chance. Musharraf approved the policy of “dialogue before reaching the dead end” and that meeting was attended by the Prime Minister, Aftab Sherpao and Chaudhary Shujaat Hussain (pp. 34-35);
  • A meeting was held, convened by Prime Minister Shoukat Aziz. It was attended by Chaudhary Shujaat Hussain, Aftab Sherpao, Zafar Iqbal Warraich, Commander (R) Khalil ur Rehman, Principal Secretary to PM, Chairman CDA, Chief Commissioner, Islamabad and Inspector General of Police Islamabad. It was decided that Chaudhary Shujaat Hussain would continue his efforts for a settlement with the Lal Masjid Management (pp. 37 – 37);

Minhaj ul Quran:

Whereas the Government in 2007 took extreme steps to continue negotiations with known terrorists and went on and on trying to resolve the issue peacefully over a period of 6 months, nothing even remotely similar took place in Model Town in 2014. Within a few hours, a little over a dozen unarmed civilians – supporters of Tahir ul Qadri – were killed by the police.

The Government in 2014, within a matter of a few hours, utilised extreme State terror to terrorise and scare innocent unarmed civilians. No attempt was made to reach
out to members of the Minhaj-ul-Quran and their allies. This despite the fact that the Minhaj has always been a peaceful organisation engaged in nothing more than scholarship.

5. Civilian Casualties: Killing Imaginary and Real unarmed Men & Women

Lal Masjid Management:

One woman was killed in the cross fire – the elderly mother of the terrorist Ghazi brothers. She was being kept in the basement of the Lal Masjid complex where the final battle took place. She was not killed deliberately; she was killed in the cross fire unintentionally.

Besides this one civilian casualty, hardcore armed terrorists of the Lal Masjid / Jamia Hafsa were killed by the security forces.

In total, there were 103 casualties – 11 security personnel and the remainder being armed terrorists.

Contrary to popular claims, there is no evidence to suggest that children, girls were killed in this operation.

Minhaj ul Quran:

Innocent and unarmed civilians were gunned down in cold blood – civilians who are not known to have engaged in any act of violence in their lives.

This includes at least two women, one of whom was pregnant, and the rest unarmed and innocent men.

6. Missing Persons

Lal Masjid Management:

Contrary to popular claims, we know of no “missing” persons from Lal Masjid / Jamia Hafsa. No family has ever come forward demanding the return of an alleged “missing” relative.

Minhaj ul Quran:

According to the members of Minhaj ul Quran, a number of civilians are still in the custody of the police and they have been very vocal regarding this. They have also vocally asserted that bodies of slain members were also taken by the police and have yet to be returned.

7. Quran Desecration

Lal Masjid Management:

There is no evidence that copies of the Quran were deliberately desecrated by the Army personnel taking part in the Lal Masjid / Jamia Hafsa operation. The fire produced by the fighting damaged the buildings and the material therein. If any copy of the Quran or a religious text was damaged, it was damaged inadvertently during the course of the operation and intense fighting.

After the operation:

  • Removal and dumping of debris was done by CDA under the supervision of ICT Administration. Copies/pages of the Quran and other religious books were shifted to a safe place (p. 90);
  • According to former Commissioner ICT, Khalid Parvez: i. a fatwa was obtained from Mufti Muhammad Saqib and Mufti Maulana Abdul Razzaq to dispose some pages of the Quran and other extracts (p. 90);
  • ii. Both opined that the best method of disposal of such material is to wrap it up in a clean cloth and bury it in a grave – in the same manner as is the mode prescribed for the human grave (p. 90);
  • iii. Team headed by Deputy Director (Auqaf) was constituted to carry out burial of such papers (p. 90);
  • iv. This was done in the presence of four members of the Ulema Committee (p. 90);
  • v. The remaining intact religious books and Qurans were shifted to G-6 flats under the supervision of Deputy Director (Auqaf) and kept in the racks/almarahs (p. 90);

Minhaj ul Quran:

Quranic copies have been damaged and destroyed. No doubt, the police – presumably Muslims – are unlikely to have deliberately damaged/destroyed Quranic copies. However, given the fact that the police were terrorising, murdering civilians and engaging in chaotic destruction in the surrounding locality, their insensible, unprofessional and criminal behaviour resulted in the damaging/destruction of Quranic copies.

8. Who to Blame: President, Prime Minister, Chief Minister, Law Minister etc.

Lal Masjid Management:

The President of the time, Pervez Musharraf, has been isolated and personally held “responsible” for the Lal Masjid operation and the resultant loss of life. He has been accused of “murdering” the junior Ghazi brother and his mother. It is as if Pervez Musharraf was micro managing the entire operation, personally instructing the police and commandos on the ground and then personally pressing the trigger to kill Ghazi junior and his mother in the basement.

The above is a rather silly scenario and It is absurd to blame the Head of State in this instance. The Head of State does not operate at the administrative level on the ground. As President, Mr. Musharraf had simply no involvement in the operational details of this anti-terror operation. By blaming Mr. Musharraf, layers upon layers of the government are being bypassed.  There is the Local Administration, the Chief Secretaries, the Chief Ministers, the Secretary Interior, the Federal Interior Minister, and then the Prime Minister. These are the Government Civil Functionaries. Only after all of these layers do we come to the Chief of Army Staff and then to the President of the country. Mr. Musharraf was never issuing any administrative, operational level orders and neither was he issuing instructions on the ground.

Most importantly, there was no innocent civilian loss of life (save one instance). In addition to this, the conduct of the officer(s) on the ground is to be investigated when there are instances of civilian casualties in such an operation.

Moreover, the operation began only after the Lal Masjid terrorists killed a personnel of the Ranger – Lance Naik Mubarik Hussain. This started a battle between the Lal Masjid inmates and the security forces (p. 44)

Minhaj ul Quran:

In this instance, the police committed murders in cold blood and severely beat up civilians. Only in the face of sheer police brutality did some supporters of Tahir ul Qadri subsequently  defended themselves armed with just sticks and stones.

It is unrealistic to suppose that the police decided to simply act on their own and use live ammunition so casually. The police never open fire upon civilians unless and until they receive instructions from officials – this would include the Chief Minister of the province, in this case Shahbaz Sharif. The Law Minister and friend of Deobandi terrorists, Rana Sanaullah, was made reluctantly fired as the calls for Shabaz Sharif to step down increased.

Those who are familiar with Shahbaz Sharif know that he directly controls the Punjab police and is personally engaged with them. All senior and mid-level police officers are personally selected by Shahbaz Sharif. Moreover, members of PML-N are recruited in the police to ensure that they blindly follow the commands of Shahbaz Sharif and take direct instructions from him.

It is improbable to suppose that the police, on their own, just decided to knock on the door of an important personality in Pakistan who has thousands and thousands of followers. It is even more improbable that for many hours Shahbaz Sharif did not know about the operation – while it was being shown live on all channels – and that he came to learn about it only upon its natural conclusion.

As if this was not enough, a well known thug of PML-N, “Gullu” Butt, was shown on all channels directly leading the police and committing destruction under the close protection of the police.

In short, Shahbaz Sharif’s own police committed multiple murders and this police force was being led by his loyal servant “Gullu” Butt and senior officers known to him.

Here it is perfectly justifiable, commonsensical and reasonably to blame the Chief Minister – Shahbaz Sharif – for this carnage and act of terror. It is reasonable to demand Shahbaz Sharif’s resignation and to then charge him with murder.

9. Conclusion

The false allegations launched by terrorists and terrorist sympathisers with regards to the Lal Masjid / Jamia Hafsa Operation hold true only when it comes to the 2014 Model Town Operation by Shahbaz Sharif’s Punjab police force.

State Terrorism has only transpired in the 2014 Model Town Operation whereas the writ of the State was established in 2007 when the Government, after intense negotiations and desperate peace efforts, decided to rightfully confront armed terrorists of Lal Masjid / Jamia Hafsa.

A few PML-N dimwits talk about the killings which took place in the streets of Karachi on 12 May 2007. Here they are making a false analogy. Different political parties (ANP, PPP and MQM) confronted each other and engaged in tit for tat killings. The State was not involved in this saga. The killings were not caused as a result of any “State operation” or by any “instructions” issued by the Head of State. In sharp contrast, the Punjab Government used its loyal police force to kill unarmed and innocent civilians in Model Town in 2014, making full use of their well known thug, “Gullu” Butt. Hence the comparison is bogus and does not work.

Those who cry and whine daily about the mythical killings of the “thousands” of non-existent civilians in the Lal Masjid Operation have really no tears to shed or a word of sympathy to offer when it comes to the actual civilians murdered by Shahbaz Sharif’s Punjab police force.

Recall that the Nawaz regime was engaged in State terrorism in the 90s as well and it seems clear that they are at it again.


Ansar Abbasi – An Amoral Third Rate Journalist Propagating Lies & Disinformation

April 5, 2014

Written by Usman Sheikh
Musharraf’s Supporter
05 April 2014

A third rate Pakistani journalist, known for his loving feelings towards the Taliban, so much so that the Pakistani Taliban nominated him as their representative a few months ago, Ansar Abbasi, has successfully unleashed another emotionally charged article laced with disinformation which can be read here.

As is often the case, Abbasi’s piece is an anti-Musharraf hysteria, where facts, commonsense, hell even Islamic teachings, are all conveniently tossed in the bin to have a go at Musharraf.

Having nothing better to do this Saturday afternoon, I thought it would be fun to offer a paragraph by paragraph refutation.
This time around, Abbasi is making a charged plea to Gen Raheel Sharif to “butt off,” maintain a distance, and remain silent regarding the obvious irregularities in the process and unfair/unjust conduct towards Musharraf in the so called “treason” trial. In a nutshell, Abbasi will tell Gen. Raheel Sharif that he is known to be “professional,” much like his predecessor, Kiyani, and that the two of them have finally “redeemed” respect to the institution of the Army. That those who support Musharraf, who insist that the trial is unfair and who have contacted Gen. Raheel Sharif conveying their grave concerns are “devious” and “damaging the system.”

Ansar Abbasi’s comments will be enclosed within “{{}}” followed by my counter reply.

{{According to sources different military commanders including General Raheel Sharif are being told in whispers that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is unfairly proceeding with the high treason case against a retired army chief.}}

The different military commanders, including Gen. Raheel Sharif, are being told in whispers the truth in this regard.

{{They fail to realise that such gossiping would not only result in misunderstanding between the civilian and military leadership, it would also seriously damage the system and the country that has already been badly hurt by repeated military interventions.}}

Aha, so there is misunderstanding between the two? Or does Abbasi feel that the “gossiping” is such that there is a very, very real possibility/chance and a high probability of a misunderstanding developing soon? I ask because later on in his trash pile, Abbasi will be going out of his way to insist that the Military and the Nawaz regime are on the same page, seeing eye to eye, with no differences whatsoever on this matter. Here it seems they’re not quite eye to eye on this subject.

Chief-Justice-Ansar-AbbasiMoving on, if they’re telling the truth about the unfair nature of the trial and they are genuinely convinced that extreme injustice is taking place where the law of the land and the Constitution are being brazenly violated, then they’ve adopted the morally right stance. By remaining silent, you’re violating your much cherished Islamic teachings (what happened to all that, “speak/tell the truth, no matter what?” – hot air?) and are being amoral. If the Army confronts the regime and tells them to remain within the bounds of the law and the regime decides to ignore the law and do all it can to maintain injustice, then they – the regime – are responsible for the confrontation and for damaging the system. If it is true that the regime violates the Constitution and the law of the land, and is engaged in giving instructions to the judges, then the regime is the party guilty of creating fitna, causing confrontation between institutions, and for damaging the system.

Lastly, the country has been hurt badly by repeated corrupt, incompetent, petty, dictatorial and inept behaviour of crooked politicians such as Nawaz Sharif, and not through “repeated intervention” by the Military. The last intervention by the Military, if anything, drastically benefitted Pakistan.

{{There are also some pro-Musharraf frustrated elements within the military establishment who too are playing their devious role to protect the dictator from trial at the cost of rule of law and in friction with the orders of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. However, General Raheel Sharif is considered a true professional instead of being a “loyalist” of the retired chief.}}

Circular reasoning & ‘it does not follow’ (non sequitur):

1. He presumes/supposes that those who believe they are setting the record straight and telling the truth about the unfair nature of the trial are being “devious” and attempting to “protect” Musharraf from a trial “at the cost of rule of law.” How? There is no reasoning here. Why is it “devious” to believe the trial to be unfair? Likewise, throughout, he applies the factually erroneous label of “dictator” as a rhetorical device to generate anti-Musharraf feelings.

2. If it is true that the trial is inherently unfair, it violates the law of the land and the Constitution, and you state this truth with proof, evidence and a worked out argument, then how does it follow that you are being “devious” and “protecting” Musharraf from a trial “at the cost of rule of law?” — it DOES NOT FOLLOW.

Simpler explanation: there are those who believe that the trial is inherently unfair and an attempt at extracting petty revenge. They want this unfair proceeding to stop and they want a fair and balanced trial, by judges with no axe to grind, in accordance with the rule of law and the Constitution. Period.

If Gen Sharif is a professional, then he must professionally look at the evidence and then take the professional step: tell the regime to stop acting like lofars from the 90s.

{{After Musharraf’s ouster, initially it was former Army chief General (R) Kayani who did remarkably well to redeem the respect of the institution by depoliticising the army. And now it is General Raheel Sharif who is generally seen as a true professional soldier.}}

First, the use of the term “ouster” is interesting. It generally means to be dismissed, to be removed (forcefully), and to be expelled (from a position). It commonly refers to the removal of someone from a position. Usually, it carries negative connotations. Why is this term being applied for Musharraf when we know that he honourably retired from the Army after serving/completing his term in office? This itself, besides the above referred points, indicates the extreme biased nature of the Taliban apologist Ansar Abbasi. Sure, there are no unbiased human beings. But here we’re witnessing extreme bias.

Secondly, he presumes (circular logic) that under Musharraf the institution of the Army had no/little respect – hence the supposed “redeeming” of its respect post Musharraf. But this presumption is not an incontrovertible “fact.” It is merely Abbasi’s opinion and there are those who disagree with his opinion. I believe the Army gained additional respect when it removed the despotic and undemocratic Nawaz Sharif from power in 1999 and it gained further respect when it successfully led Pakistan from 1999 till 2008. Hence there is no question of the respect being “redeemed” since it wasn’t “lost” to begin with – my personal stance.

Thirdly, he makes an assertion and no more. My own assertions: As a “professional” – Kiyani was probably the worst General in Pakistan Army’s history. Moreover, he did play politics – extreme politics – and this has been related in a number of programmes already.

{{When Musharraf was dashed to AFIC some three months back, Army chief General Raheel Sharif is said to have told Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that not the serving officers but some retired officers had contacted him and expressed their concern over the trial.}}

That’s very good indeed. We should all commend these retired officers for standing up for the truth. Now, did the retired officers also dash Musharraf to AFIC?

{{However, General Raheel Sharif is reported to have told these retired army officers that it was a legal matter and should be left for the courts to decide.}}

Indeed, that’s how it should be. But if we’re right that the law is being violated by the regime, that the Constitution is being violated by the regime and the regime is passing instructions to the judges (see this: ), then all are justified in raising these problems to the attention of the public and important personalities so they may create awareness and do all they can to ensure compliance with the rule of law.

{{Musharraf, his advisers and his sympathisers in the establishment are trying their level best to get the institution of military dragged into the high treason case to save his skin. Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has said it more than once that there is complete unanimity between the civilian and the military leadership.}}

If there is complete unanimity and given Gen. Raheel Sharif’s view above, why is Abbasi looking so tense and concerned? It is as if he is not sure and we’re already witnessing ‘the lady doth protest too much’ phenomenon.

{{The civilian government firmly believes that there is no institutional support available for Musharraf but there are certain elements within the establishment who behave like personal servants of the accused dictator.}}

More emotional rhetoric. Judging from his tone and wording, it seems that Abbasi is the one who is behaving like a paid personal servant of the known despotic Nawaz Sharif, spiritual son of the worst dictator in Pakistan’s history. Did Nawaz Sharif pay Abbasi to write this nonsense to win over Raheel Sharif? Could be : ) And of course, Abbasi’s behaviour has been such that known dictatorial savage terrorists, the TTP, were more than happy to have nominated Abbasi as their representative a few months ago.  Abbasi’s deplorable conduct, as if he’s a paid personal servant of the TTP, has been such that the TTP have, I am sure, kept open the “representative” slot for Abbasi to date.

If “certain elements” supportive towards Musharraf exist, why label them as “personal servants” of the accused? It is as if in Abbasi’s fantasy world, no one can genuinely and in full honesty adopt a position supportive towards Musharraf.

{{Musharraf’s trial is the consequence of July 31, 2009 decision of the Supreme Court which had declared his November 3, 2007 action as unconstitutional. In the same judgment, the full court had unanimously held Musharraf alone responsible for the abrogation of the Constitution.}}

The constitution was not “abrogated” in 2007 (details below). For now, the judgment mentioned by Abbasi was passed out without hearing the other side of the story and it was passed out under the watchful eye of Musharraf’s enemy, the disgraced Iftikhar Chaudhry, and other judges – who were all an aggrieved party. In no civilised country would a court behave in this ridiculous manner, passing out a quick judgment, without even bothering to hear the other side of the story and those who adopt a different viewpoint. In short, it was a Kangaroo judgment by Kangaroo judges with an axe to grind. And let’s not forget the judges who legitimised the 2007 Emergency – so other experts disagreed with the Kangaroo minions of Iftikhar.

As for the, what I deem to be a lie, that Musharraf “worked alone,” this allegation will also be addressed below.

{{Later in 2012-13, the Supreme Court sought from the previous PPP government and then the caretaker government to initiate proceeding against Musharraf under Article 6 of the constitution. Warnings after warnings were issued by the apex court but it was the present government which after coming to power decided to initiate high treason proceeding against Musharraf.}}

Right here the SC violated the Pakistani Constitution and the law of the land because Pakistani law does not permit the SC to ask, request, let alone demand, the Government to launch/initiate treason trial upon any individual. The SC has absolutely no right and business to compel and push the Government to bring forth treason charges against an individual or a party. It is purely the prerogative of the Government to do so. The SC cannot even issue a punishment. In short:

The High Treason Act States (bold added), “3. Procedure: No Court shall take cognizance of an offence punishable under this act except upon a complaint in writing made by a person authorised by the Federal Government in this behalf.”

—– Thus: according to Pakistani Law, only the Federal Government can initiate a case of high treason against individual(s) by submitting a written complaint to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court itself cannot even ask or request, let alone insist, the Federal Government to take such a step.

So thank you Taliban apologist Ansar Abbasi for proving above that the SC violated the law, had an axe to grind, and wanted to extract revenge when it repeatedly demanded and strongly compelled the PPP and caretaker Governments to initiate the treason trial against Musharraf.

{{Musharraf, who had twice abrogated the Constitution to secure his own office, has been trying hard to implicate the institution of Army even now by pleading that besides the civilian leadership he had consulted the then military commanders before taking the November 3, 2007 action.}}


  1. Abbasi presumes as “fact” the allegation that Musharraf “twice abrogated” the Constitution. This is precisely the point in dispute and, particularly, when it comes to the 2007 temporary Emergency –  which the SC is concerned about –  there was no “abrogation” of the Constitution. Simply, the Constitution was held in *abeyance.* Holding the Constitution in abeyance was NOT an act of “treason” in 2007. Further, the Dogar SC validated the temporary Emergency.
  1. In 1999, Musharraf was in a plane on his way to Pakistan from Sri Lanka. Upon landing, Musharraf was informed by the Army commanders that they – the Army – had no choice but to remove the Nawaz Sharif regime. Thus, Musharraf merely inherited that situation. It was the Army as an institution which reacted. Thereafter, the SC of the time validated the move of the Army and, moreover, granted Musharraf the right to hold two offices and to make amends to the Constitution as and when required. The despot and crook Iftikhar Chaudhry made all these decisions.

Question: if the SC determines the 1999 counter coup by the Army to be legitimate, then how is the comparatively very, very minor matter of imposition of temporary Emergency Rule for 18 days akin to “treason?”

  1. Musharraf was not operating in a vacuum, on his own, in 2007. The text of the proclamation of temporary Emergency Rule itself makes mention of the, “prime minister, governors of all four provinces and with the chairman joint chiefs of staff committee, chiefs of the armed forces, vice chief of army staff and corps commanders of the Pakistan army.”

Notice also that there was no change in the government in 2007: Prime Minister, Governors, Chief Ministers, all continued to function, all assemblies — Senate, National Assembly, Provincial Assemblies — continued to function. Moreover, they endorsed the Emergency and its imposition was the collective decision of them all, including the Army and the Air and Naval Chiefs.

Hence Musharraf is absolutely right in pointing out the basic commonsense fact that he was not “alone.”

  1. Moreover, Article 6 cannot be applied upon an individual because it considers treason to be a *joint enterprise* – where multiple people are working together. It mentions aiders and abettors in the same breath in clause #2. Hence its application upon one individual is itself a violation of the law.

Lastly, picking, choosing, and being selective – where you isolate an individual, ignore others, where you ignore many alleged violations of the law and focus only upon one alleged violation of the law – is a blatant violation of Article 25 of the Constitution, which calls for equality.

{{The institution of Army, whose respect has been successfully redeemed by General Kayani and General Sharif, is now again being pushed to controversies by Musharraf and his sympathisers yet again for one man – the accused Musharraf.}}

My counter assertion: the respect was never “lost” to begin with. The respect and honour of the institution of the Army was maintained by Musharraf, it was later ruined by Kiyani and we are yet to see if Gen. Sharif will restore it by standing up for the right and by opposing the charlatan deceivers whose boots Ansar Abbasi is all too used to licking – yet again the one man, the despot Nawaz Sharif – and yet again the one group: the savage terrorist TTP.



The Dark Side of Iftikhar Chaudhry

January 16, 2014

(Written by Afaq)

On 12th December 2013, Iftikhar Chaudhry marked the end of his eventful years as a chief justice of Pakistan.

Charles de Gaulle said, “The cemeteries of the world are full of indispensable men.” Hence, people took the charge, perform their responsibilities and leave. Then this is up to the history to judge their role and legacy.

CJ Exposed IVFormer chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, otherwise considered as a man of courage and vision by many, will sadly be remembered as a media conscious man who escaped from the charges of nepotism and misconduct by taking refuge in highly politicized lawyers’ movement and the one, who believed more in personal vendetta than emerging as an impartial custodian of justice.

If politicians are not doing well, they can be rejected in the elections or summoned in the court. If military coup is undesirable, the military ruler can be trialled. What about the chief justice of the country? Is he above the law? No, he doesn’t. Is he not accountable to anyone? Yes, he is. There is Supreme Judicial Council to investigate the charges against the judges, as clearly mentioned in the Article 209 of the constitution. On 09th March, 2007, the then President filed a reference to the SJC against Iftikhar Chaudhry on the advice of the then Prime Minister. While he didn’t resign, he also didn’t face the inquiry. He took the cover of the media and politicized lawyers’ movement and made the SJC irrelevant.

A file photo dated, 30 June 2005 releaseIt is claimed that he stood against a military ruler and refused to resign – something that made him a hero overnight. But ironically, he himself remained the one who legitimated the same ruler.

Let’s correct the record. Nawaz Sharif’s era was corrupt and ineffective “one man rule” and his overthrown on 12thOctober, 1999 was justified. This is what the Supreme Court of Pakistan ruled on 13th May, 2000. His Excellency Iftikhar Chaudhry was one of the judges of that 12-member court and favored the military coup.

Not only this, he was one of the nine judges of the bench that validated the Proclamation of Emergency dated 14th October, 1999 and PCO-I as well as the referendum.

He marked his presence in the 5-member bench that validated the legal framework order issued by Musharraf.

He was also the part of 5-member bench that gave judgment in the favour of Musharraf’s uniform and the seventeenth amendment.

Iftikhar Chaudhry was the chief justice at the time when the Supreme Court allowed Musharraf to re-elect in uniform in 2007.

If the constitution of Pakistan was violated on 12th October, 1999 and if that’s the act of treason, then Iftikhar Chaudhry should also be trialed for high treason under the Article 6 (clause 2) of the constitution.

His legacy doesn’t end here.

While he over exercised his authority to take suo-moto notices under the Article 184 (3), he was more concerned about setting market price of samosa and sugar, the possessions of Atiqa Odho and issuing a contempt of court notice to PTI chief. However, the Hazara killing, the persecution of minorities, the suicide bombers, sectarian militant organisations, misuse of blasphemy laws and the atrocities of terrorism – all went unchecked.

CJ Exposed IPakistan has lost almost 50,000 lives in terrorist attacks, but the judiciary failed to prosecute the terrorists. They kept getting acquittal from the courts and kept continuing their anti-state activities. This free service rewarded him appreciation from the miscreants.

During his term, lawyers turned into black coat hooligans. For instance, the assassin of governor Punjab wasshowered by roses in the premises of the court. The ATC judge who gave verdict against him got harassed by the lawyers.

Lawyers were not always violent during his term; they enjoyed the lighter side of life as well. Lahore High Court bar witnessed the dance performance on Sheila ki jawani and the lawyers partied.

This all went unnoticed.

CJ Exposed IIIOn the other hand, he turned a blind eye to the corruption of his son. Even though he took suo moto notice,Supreme Court reversed its position at least three times and finally disposed of the case calling it a personal matter between Arsalan Iftikhar and Malik Riaz.

Iftikhar Chaudhry ruled against the security protocols of the former ministers while himself enjoying the unit of 40-50 security personnel. He asked for police escort and a bullet proof vehicle for security soon after his retirement citing that he was under threat.

He questioned the loyalty of overseas Pakistanis, while keeping mum over the judges with dual nationalities.

He dismissed the elected prime minister showing lack of restraint.

He kept interfering in the affairs of state, and focused less on improving the judiciary – his prime responsibility. The corrupt practices of judges and violent activism of lawyers grew by leaps and bounds. More than 1.5 million cases are still pending in the courts and there is no hope for the speedy justice.

This brief article couldn’t sum up his entire term. In retrospect, he had a golden opportunity and absolute authority to fix the bugs within the judicial system and turning it into a viable institution, but his vindictive behavior made things worse. He had public and media support behind him, he could do this, but alas, he didn’t.

Source: Ibtidah


The Nonsense of the Musharraf Treason Trial: Article 6, Discrimination and a Biased & Compromised Judiciary

November 23, 2013

Usman Sheikh – (APML-UK)

The below is a summary of the main issues the way I have understood them. For non-experts, it can be difficult to understand the legal issues and arguments. Barrister Farogh Naseem, on Rana Mubashir’s programme, has explained the legal issues in layman’s terms on a few occasions. The notes below are based on his lucid presentation along with material which I have gathered from other sources.

The purpose here is merely to relate the main points in a simple manner and, hopefully, demonstrate the ridiculous nature of this treason charge against Pervez Musharraf.

Readers are welcome to notify me of any possible errors.

1. Unethical Conduct of the Supreme Court

From the outset, we need to bear in mind four points:

i. Barely a month after Pervez Musharraf’s arrival in Pakistan, the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Iftikhar Chaudhry, issued a challenge, daring people to step forward and bring up charges against Pervez Musharraf.

Can you imagine the Chief Justice of a country behaving in this manner? Iftikhar Chaudhry has been overly politicised and compromised for years and he views Musharraf as his arch enemy. Chaudhry wants his revenge.

ii. For a long time the Chief Justice has been demanding the Federal Government to bring forth treason charges against Pervez Musharraf. When the government politely declined – such as for instance the Caretaker Government – the Supreme Court could not take no for an answer and maintained an argumentative behaviour with the Caretaker Government, insisting the latter bring forth treason charges against Pervez Musharraf, thereby allowing the ever so eager Supreme Court to proceed with the matter.

This is very interesting given the fact that in Pakistani law, the Supreme Court has absolutely no right to request – let alone demand – the Federal Government to bring forth charges against any individual or group. The Supreme Court cannot request, demand, pressurise and incite the Government to bring to its attention any case. Thus, by constantly pressurising the Federal Government to proceed with the treason charges against Musharraf, the Supreme Court is violating the law of the land and exposing its utterly biased attitude.

iii. Now that the Sharif Government, upon the repeated unlawful insistence and pressure of the Supreme Court, has decided to go ahead with the treason charges, Iftikhar Chaudhry has handpicked three judges to oversee this case. These judges, like Iftikhar Chaudhry, are also known to be openly hostile towards Pervez Musharraf and having close relations with the Sharif and Chaudhry families. Iftikhar Chaudhry is known to have been immensely favourable to these judges in the past.

iv. It seems that the FIA was not even given the chance to complete its investigation. While the FIA was just in the very initial/preliminary stages of investigation where not a single witness had been questioned, the Interior Ministry suddenly, out of the blue, ordered them to submit their report on the treason charge. In rush, a rag tag report was hurriedly put together and submitted to the Supreme Court.

2. The Case

The case of treason against Pervez Musharraf follows this logic:

In November 2007, Pervez Musharraf imposed temporary Emergency Rule in Pakistan. As a result, some sections of the Pakistani Constitution were temporarily suspended, or held in abeyance. This is said to be treason against the State because Article 6 of the Constitution of Pakistan states that holding the Constitution in abeyance is an act of treason.

3. Three Quick Responses

A. Article 232 of the Pakistani Constitution permits the President to impose Emergency Rule under certain situations. As long as the President is satisfied that a situation or a state of affairs exists which warrants Emergency rule, the latter can be imposed.

“Article 232 (1)

If the President is satisfied that a grave emergency exists in which the security of Pakistan, or any part thereof, is threatened by war or external aggression, or by internal disturbance beyond the power of a Provincial Government to control, he may issue a Proclamation of Emergency.

Article 32

Therefore, imposing Emergency Rule is not akin to “treason” as it is permitted by the Pakistani Constitution. One may disagree with the reasons for imposing the Emergency, yet imposing it is not “treason” or a “punishable crime” even if the underlying reasons are deemed to be weak.

Counter Response to the Above: Pervez Musharraf signed the text of the Proclamation of Emergency Rule as the Army Chief, not as the President. So whilst the President can impose Emergency Rule, the Army Chief cannot.

Rebuttal: Signing off a text with the title of Army Chief does not negate the fact that Pervez Musharraf was also the President of the State at that time. Pervez Musharraf’s powers and authority as the President did not temporarily vanish or take the back seat when he signed off a document as the Army Chief. His powers and authority as the President remained, irrespective of the specific title he used in a document.

B. In 2007, Article 6 of the Constitution did not state that holding the Constitution in abeyance or suspending it was an act of “treason.” This is the 2007 version of the text of Article 6:

“(1) Any person who abrogates or attempts or conspires to abrogate, subverts or attempts or conspires to subvert the Constitution by use of force or show of force or by other unconstitutional means shall be guilty of high treason.”

In 2010, however, through the 18th Amendment, the above text was altered as follows (italics added):

Artcile 6 - comparison“(1)Any person who abrogates or subverts or suspends or holds in abeyance, or attempts or conspires to abrogate or subvert or suspend or hold in abeyance, the Constitution by use of force or show of force or by any other unconstitutional means shall be guilty of high treason.”

In 2007, suspending or holding the Constitution in abeyance was not an act of high treason. In 2010, however, suspending and holding the Constitution in abeyance became an act of high treason.

It is legally and rationally ridiculous to retroject this backwards to try Pervez Musharraf – or anyone else for that matter – for having allegedly committed “high treason.”

C. Those who have presumed Pervez Musharraf to be guilty of high treason convey the impression as if Pervez Musharraf was working in isolation, in a vacuum, making decisions on his own, with no other individual present in the scene. This scenario is highly unrealistic. The text of the Proclamation of Emergency Rule itself mentions the “prime minister, governors of all four provinces and with the chairman joint chiefs of staff committee, chiefs of the armed forces, vice chief of army staff and corps commanders of the Pakistan army” who deliberated upon the situation and then requested the President – Pervez Musharraf – to impose Emergency Rule in Pakistan. However, as far as I can tell, no one has been questioned. To successfully implement the Emergency rule, individuals (Civil Servants etc), judges and departments at all levels were required to play their part. None of them have been questioned. In fact, the Law Minister of that time – Zaid Hamid Khan – who played a pivotal role in designing and implementing the Emergency Rule in 2007 is presently a senior member of Nawaz Sharif’s party and was once again appointed as the Law Minister, only to be made to resign shortly thereafter due to the embarrassment caused on account of his role as the Law Minister in 2007!

 4. Blatant Discrimination

Violation of Article 25 & 6: By having a go at Musharraf, the Supreme Court and the Sharif Government are violating Article 25 of the Constitution. Article 25 is the equality clause – it calls for a lack of discrimination. Likewise, Article 6 is also not being adhered to.

Article 25

Two forms of blatant discrimination are being carried out:

i. Singling out an individual

 Pervez Musharraf has been singled out as if he was operating in a vacuum. According to Article 6, aiders and abettors are to be charged and are to be treated equally:

Anyone directly/indirectly involved needs to be charged: Army officers, politicians, judges, bureaucrats, journalists etc.

  • Article 6 is not applicable upon a single individual. It talks about a joint enterprise.  Everyone involved in the conspiracy – be it directly or indirectly – is to be tried. There can be no picking and choosing

ii. Restricting the implementation of Article 6 to the November 2007 Emergency

The November 2007 imposition of temporary Emergency Rule is a comparatively very minor matter – compared to the actual Military (counter) coup of 1999.  The latter is the main issue, not the 2007 Emergency.

Were it not for the fact that a Military (counter) coup transpired in 1999, the minor matter of the November 2007 Emergency would not have taken place.

In light of the High Treason Act, the application of Article 6 cannot be limited to the 2007 Emergency. The 1999 Military (counter) coup needs to be considered. Even then, Article 6 cannot be restricted to the 1999 Military (counter) coup. The dark era of the Zia regime also needs to be considered, including all prior Military takeovers.

Article 6 cannot be restricted to a regime/time period. If Musharraf is to be tried, then not only are you required to try all aiders and abettors involved in the 1999 counter coup, but you are also required to try every individual alive who aided, abetted and supported the worst dictatorship in Pakistan’s history – the Zia regime – including all Military regimes in the past.  If Musharraf was wrong, then Zia was wrong. Zia cannot be “right” while Musharraf is “wrong.” Being selective – giving a clean sheet to one regime while targeting another – is a violation of Articles 6 and 25 of the Pakistani Constitution

According to the High Treason Act, from 1958 onwards, every military coup is to be considered and all involved – directly and indirectly – are to be tried and punished.

Thus, by singling out Pervez Musharraf and by restricting the proceedings to the comparatively very minor matter of the imposition of temporary Emergency Rule in November 2007, the Supreme Court and the Sharif Government are violating both Articles 6 & 25 of the Constitution and are also ignoring the High Treason Act, which permits the trial of everyone involved in a coup – whether directly or indirectly – from 1958 onwards.

Either all are tried or none are tried. Either all regimes are considered or none are considered. There must be across the board justice to ensure fairness and transparency. Picking and choosing should not be allowed

Counter Response #1: the Parliament validated the 1999 Army coup. Therefore, one has no choice but to be restricted to the comparatively minor 2007 temporary Emergency Rule.

Rebuttal: The 18th Amendment has made null and avoid the 17th Amendment. This means that the 1999 Military (counter) coup is open to investigation and no longer enjoys protection. Therefore, if we are to abide by the requirements of Articles 25 & 6 of the Pakistani Constitution and apply the High Treason Act, we are to charge each and every individual involved directly and indirectly in the 1999 Army coup and, moreover, all previous Army coups, including the coup carried out by the late Zia ul Haq. We are to try all individuals who worked, whether directly and indirectly, to maintain/strengthen the setup which came about after all Military coups. If we, however, decide to limit things to 2007 and merely single out Pervez Musharraf, we then blatantly violate the Pakistani Constitution.

Counter Response #2: Only a few individuals involved in the previous Military takeovers and regimes are presently alive. Therefore, there is really no point in dragging them to the court.

Rebuttal: It does not matter. Even if one individual is alive who aided, abetted and supported a Military takeover and regime, then he/she is to be brought before the law. Moreover, many who supported the late Gen. Zia ul Haq and played a critical role in supporting, maintaining and furthering his cruel military regime are still alive: for example, people such as Nawaz Sharif, Chaudhry Nisar, Shahbaz Sharif and many others. They are to be brought before the court and made to pay for their crime of violating the Pakistani Constitution.

A Probable Reason for Ignoring the 1999 Military (counter) Coup: Iftikhar Chaudhry was one of the judges who:

1. Legitimized the Military’s takeover of the Government using the “doctrine of necessity” argument

2. Was among the first judges to take an oath on the PCO in January 2000.

3. In April 13 2005, in the “Judgment on 17th Amendment and President’s Uniform Case,” Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry was one of 5 Supreme Court judges who dismissed all petitions challenging President Musharraf’s constitutional amendments. In a wide ranging judgment, they declared that the Legal Framework Order (LFO) instituted by General Musharraf after his suspension of the constitution, the 17th amendment which gave this constitutional backing, and the two offices bill which allowed Pervez Musharraf to retain his military uniform whilst being President, were all legal.

His falling out with former President Musharraf occurred only in 2007, when a reference against Iftikhar Chaudhry was legitimately forwarded to the Supreme Judicial Council for investigation.

Therefore, it seems that the 1999 Military (counter) Coup is being ignored because investigating it would mean that a large bulk of the judges – Iftikhar Chaudhry included – and almost all politicians will then be in deep trouble given the fact that they so openly supported, defended, legitimised and strengthened the 1999 Military coup and the subsequent setup for years.

Bottom Line: Army Officers, Politicians, Judges, Bureaucrats, Journalists all need to be tried and punished if they played any part – directly or indirectly – in supporting, maintaining, defending, strengthening and legitimising a Military takeover/regime.

  • Corrupt and biased Judges such as Iftikhar Chaudhry, who legitimised the Army’s rightful counter coup of 1999, are to step down and justice should be served upon them with full force
  • The current two times failed Prime Minister should immediately resign – along with all of his colleagues who aided and abetted the dictator Zia. They must then be brought before the law for violating the Pakistani Constitution multiple times

5. Conclusion

Pervez Musharraf has served Pakistan for over 40 years in the Pakistan Army. He has fought for Pakistan in wars, risking his life on numerous occasions, and has led the elite SSG Commando Unit of Pakistan. Later, he served Pakistan as the Chief of Army Staff, as the Chief Executive and, thereafter, as the President. He boldly represented Pakistan, aggressively fought for the case of Pakistan and continued to patriotically defend Pakistan in the international arena even after retiring from the Army and stepping down from the seat of Presidency.

Can we not see how patriotically Pervez Musharraf has defended Pakistan when in India and when facing off Indian journalists on the Kargil issue? Have we not seen how Pervez Musharraf has defended the Pakistan Army and the ISI in multiple gatherings in the Western world and during interviews on CNN, BBC and a host of other channels? Are we really blind to the incontrovertible fact that there is not a single Pakistani leader besides Pervez Musharraf who has so vigorously defended Pakistan?

What happens to the morale of the Pakistan Army when its highly patriotic former Chief is labelled a “traitor?” Were Ayub Khan, Yahya Khan and Zia ul Haq traitors? Zia ul Haq – responsible for the harshest dictatorship in the history of Pakistan – was loyally supported and aided by the likes of Nawaz Sharif who maintained the former’s dictatorial regime. Is nothing to be done regarding this?

It is shameful, to say the least, when a genuinely patriotic Pakistani such as Musharraf is accused of being a “traitor.”

It is even more shameful if the Pakistani nation remains silent and allows this travesty to pass by without a challenge.



Lt. General Shahid Aziz – a hypocrite and a liar

February 5, 2013

(Written by Zahid Hussain)

The recently-published memoirs of Lt. General (Retd) Shahid Aziz is more of an apology than an honest documentation of his life and time in the Army. At best, he comes across as a self-righteous retired general.  The voluminous and somewhat elegiac memoirs, titled  ‘Yeh Khamoshi Kaha Tak, Ek Spy Ki Dastan-e-Ishaq-o-Janoon,’ gives some insight into a twisted mindset of a man who was until recently a part of the highest echelon of the country’s national security establishment.

Shahid AzizHis narrative brings out a deeply conflicted and hypocritical worldview, though not uncommon among many of our retired senior military officers. It is all about self-aggrandizement of his religiosity and   uprightness that sounds a bit hollow, given the general’s past. His sympathy for the militants fighting the Army and who are found beheading Pakistani soldiers raises questions about his allegiance.

The general opposes the military campaign against insurgents in the tribal areas. Yet there is no criticism of militants who orchestrate the violence and suicide bombings that have killed thousands of innocent Pakistanis. He attributes terrorist violence entirely to the US and Western conspiracy to destabilize Pakistan.

The apologists of the Taliban often present such conspiracy theories, but this coming from a man who held important national security responsibilities is quite chilling.  The paranoia and the weird discourse that he puts across should give little confidence to Pakistanis about their national security apparatus.

He presents his own vision of an Islamic system devoid of democracy where pious and religious men will run the country. He brags a lot about his love for Islam and his piety. But he was not known to be as pious as he pretends to be in the Army. I recall seeing him in early 1999, soon after he joined the ISI, at a top businessman’s party in Islamabad whose salon was frequented by top military officials. He was obviously intoxicated—and believe me not by a soft drink. He was a regular guest at such parties.

The General sees most of Pakistan’s problems caused by its alliance with the US. But it was intriguing that many Western diplomats who I met in 2004 were anxious to see him promoted to the position of Vice Chief of the Army Staff. Coming from a military-family background, General Shahid Aziz held some pivotal positions during his career in the army spanning over 37 years. His rise to the top came after the 1999 military coup in which he played a critical role as Director General Military Operations (DGMO). He shows no remorse for the part he played in ousting an elected government. He considers democracy “a corrupt and un-Islamic system.”

The general’s contempt for the civilian rule was so strong that he considered resigning from the Army in mid-1990s because he felt humiliated that he saluted to the country’s elected Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. That says a lot about the mindset of a born-again Islamist general.  Such attitude towards the civilian leaders is not uncommon among other senior military officers. That also explains his role in the plot to overthrow an elected government a few years later. Shahid Aziz was appointed to the powerful position of the Chief of General Staff (CGS) soon after 9/11. It was the time when Pakistan was forced to abandon its longstanding support for the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and align with the US in the war on terror.

Several senior army commanders who opposed the turnaround in Pakistan’s policy were purged out by General Musharraf and the Army high- command was overhauled. Shahid Aziz benefitted from the reshuffle and was elevated as the CGS. This made him a critical cog in Pakistan military’s support to the US war in Afghanistan. It is obvious that he had the full confidence of General Musharraf who, by the way, is related to him. The pious general now wails over what he describes as Pakistan’s “betrayal of Taliban and support for infidels in spilling the blood of Muslims.”  He spends “restless nights and prays for forgiveness of Allah for his sins.” Obviously, he could not have stayed as the CGS for long if he had been critical of Pakistan’s cooperation with US.

The question is: why did he accept to become the CGS in the first place if he did not agree with the policy? Why was he not purged out as many did because they showed dissent to the policy? It sounds ludicrous that as the CGS he did not know about the bases that Pakistan had given to the US forces for logistical support. It seems bizarre when he narrates, quite dramatically, how he felt when a junior army officer told him about the US troops landing near Gwadar. If he was so piqued by it why did not he resign, one may ask. Not only did the ‘upright’ general stay on, but he also got the prized posting of the Corps Commander, Lahore. He remained part of the military hierarchy when the Pakistani troops were sent to the tribal areas. The operation was launched after Al Qaeda and other militant groups made the tribal areas as their base for attacks in Afghanistan. But the general now believes that the operation against the insurgents was part of the US conspiracy to pit “Muslims against Muslims.”

He fails to show any remorse for the terrorist attacks on innocent citizens and his former colleagues in uniform. The General reserves the most scathing attack for his former patron, General Musharraf. He accuses him of taking away Pakistan from the path of Islam and encouraging an “immoral Western culture.” He sees Musharraf’s enlightened moderation as part of a US conspiracy to subjugate Muslims culturally.  The paranoid general believes the media freedom in Pakistan serves US interests. Of course, it does not prevent him from frequently appearing on TV channels to air his twisted worldview. The writer is a senior journalist and author of two books on security and terrorism.

The author is a senior journalist and author and writes regularly for DAWN.



Pervez Musharraf With Jasmeen on Shahid Aziz & Kargil Issue

January 31, 2013

Musharraf on “Tonight with Jasmeen” further discussing how a military victory in Kargil was converted in to a political defeat by Nawaz Sharif.


Pervez Musharraf with Javed Chaudhry on Shahid Aziz & Kargil Issue

January 30, 2013

Pervez Musharraf on “Kal Tak with Javed Chaudhry” rejecting the claims of Gen. Shahid Aziz regarding the Kargil operation and character assassination of the Pakistan Military.

%d bloggers like this: