Pakistan’s army strongly reacts to Musharraf’s case. In a statement issued following the verdict in the high treason case against retired General Pervez Musharraf on Tuesday, Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor said that “the decision given by the special court was received with much pain and anguish by rank and file of the Pakistan Army.”
The announcement by the Chief Executive Officer of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) comes after sources said a meeting of top military leadership was underway at the Rawalpindi headquarters following the judgment.
“An ex-Army Chief, Chairman of the Joint Staff Committee and President of Pakistan, who has served the country for over 40 years, has fought wars for the country’s security can definitely never be a traitor,” the ISPR statement said.
“The proper legal process seems to have been neglected, including the creation of a special court, denial of fundamental right of self-defence, individual clear trials, and quickly closing the trial.”
“Pakistan’s armed forces expect justice to be handed down in accordance with the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Constitution,” he said.
Earlier today, Musharraf was found guilty of high treason by a special court in Islamabad and awarded him a death sentence under Article 6 of the Constitution. A thorough decision within 48 hours is anticipated.
It is the first time a former chief and ruler of the country has been sentenced to death in Pakistan’s history. Since 2016, when he was allowed to leave on parole for medical treatment abroad, Musharraf, who was convicted in absentia, has been out of the country.
At present, the former military leader is in the United Arab Emirates in Dubai. Since his health deteriorated earlier this month, he was admitted to a hospital.
He called the treason case “absolutely baseless” in a video statement from his hospital bed. “I have been serving my country for 10 years. I have been fighting for my country. This[ treason] is the situation where I have not been heard and I have been abused,” he said.
In December 2013, Musharraf was arrested in the treason case and convicted on 31 March 2014. In September of the same year, the prosecution had sent all the facts to the special court.
But, owing to lawsuits at appeal courts, the former military dictator’s case proceeded and in March 2016 he fled Pakistan to seek medical treatment, pledging to return in a few weeks to his “beloved homeland.”
The military has remained silent on the developments of the case over the course of the trial.
Raised in Delhi pre-partition on August 11, 1943, after his family settled in Karachi, Musharraf attended the school of Saint Patrick. He subsequently entered Kakul’s Pakistan Military Academy and graduated from the school in 1964. He was commissioned in the Pakistan Army subsequently.
His first experience on the frontline came during the Indo-Pak war of 1965 and from 1966 to 1972 he served in the elite Special Services Group (SSG). Musharraf was a company commander of an SSG commando battalion during the 1971 war with India.
He continued to succeed in several military assignments after 1971 and achieved rapid advancements within the army.
In October 1998, the then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif appointed him chief of army staff. Musharraf’s reputation was known both at home and globally in the aftermath of the Kargil conflict for which the retired general was strongly criticized.
He ousted Nawaz’s government in a bloodless coup d’état in October 1999 and later became the president of the country.
On October 12, 1999, after Nawaz blocked Musharraf from landing at Karachi airport on his return trip from Sri Lanka, troops took over the Prime Minister House.
Musharraf declared a state of emergency after finding out, suspended the Constitution, and took on the role of chief executive.
There were no coordinated demonstrations in Pakistan against the coup, but the international community strongly criticized the move. Musharraf became Pakistan’s president in June 2001. News report on Pakistan’s army strongly reacts to Musharraf’s case.