PTI government has been regarded as a government brought forward by the establishment from its beginning. But now at the end of 2019, things have started changing to some extent.
First change occurred when at the end of General Bajwa period on his retirement on November 28 and extension given by PTI government for another 3 years, Supreme Court intervened by saying that it would be appropriate to leave the matter to the Parliament and the Federal Government to clearly specify the terms and conditions of service of the COAS through an Act of Parliament and to clarify the scope of Article 243 of the Constitution in this regard. Therefore, the appointment of General Qamar Javed Bajwa as COAS was made subject to the said legislation and was made to continue for a period of six months from 29th Nov 2019, where after the new legislation shall determine his tenure and other terms and conditions of service, the Supreme Court announced.
Further going a three-member bench of a special court on 17th Dec 2019 handed a death penalty to retired Gen Pervez Musharraf in a long-drawn treason case. Musharraf has been convicted for abrogating the Constitution and imposing an emergency in the country in 2007.
The decision of the special court is groundbreaking in many ways. First, it establishes a very strong legal deterrence against future interventions in which the constitution can be suspended. Second, it elevates the stature of the judiciary as a pillar of the State that is growing stronger by the day. Third, it helps bring greater institutional equilibrium within the various pillars of the State. Fourth, it reasserts the concept of civilian supremacy even if symbolically. However one can differ with the language used in the verdict
The military has dominated politics here for over three decades and this verdict is bound to have far-reaching implications. There won’t be an actual sentencing because Musharraf is not in Pakistan but that doesn’t take away from the fact that this is a symbolic and historic verdict.
PTI Government was not willing to indulge in the case hence it wanted to delay its proceedings in spite of Imran Khan Stand in 2016 that Musharraf should be convicted for his crimes and treason.
Here we have to keep in mind that this decision has come a day after the Supreme Court’s detailed verdict in Gen Bajwa’s extension case. So this may not go well in the eyes of the military.
Hence Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor is absolutely right in issuing a statement by saying that the “decision given by special court has been received with lot of pain and anguish by rank and file of Pakistan Armed Forces”. He in his press briefing has also objected on the language used in the decision like “way of hanging of Musharraf” and “treatment to be given to the dead body of Musharraf”.
It’s the first time in Pakistan’s history that a former army chief and ruler of the country have been sentenced to death. Musharraf, who was sentenced in absentia, has been out of the country since 2016, when he was allowed to leave on bail to seek medical treatment in Dubai.
The military over the course of the trial has remained silent on the case’s developments.
Apparently it seems that Military reaction is a right step to stop further actions from Judiciary so as to avoid any clash between main institutions of Pakistan. However for Musharraf, Military already knows that he has abrogated constitution twice, he has given bases to USA and passage to USA that resulted in more than one lac deaths in Pakistan with 400 Drone attacks and loss of $150 billion. Bajore Madresah incident happened where 92 children were killed, in Lal Masjid and Jamia Hifsa 900 children were killed, Akbar Bugti and Mir Balaj Muree were killed instead of bringing them to court of law. In Karachi Lawyers were burnt to show strength of power. Attack on Kargil took place losing hundreds of Pakistani fighters at minus 50 temperature (On this General Zia Butt, General Jamshed, General Assad Durrani and General Mehmood have termed this a misadventure of Musharraf so as to bring Nawaz government in trouble). Attack on Abbotabad occurred by USA where Osama was given refuge unlawfully. Handing over KPK government to Taliban. So with these records nobody in Pakistan can feel proud of him. But to label him a traitor is also not correct. Supreme Court can handle this issue.
Everyone in Pakistan knows that Pakistan military is a respectable institution but for that it require continuity of its command and not to support any wrongdoings of any one whether from its own ranks. However both courts decisions whether in consent of Imran Khan or not is going to push every institution of Pakistan within its own working areas. Now intension of PTI government has come forward and that is to file a reference against Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Waqar Ahmed Seth in the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC), besides challenging the verdict in the Supreme Court. Mr. Naseem of federal government have revealed that government would plead before the SJC that the PHC chief justice was “mentally unfit” and “incompetent” and, therefore, he should be restrained from giving important decisions as head of the high court or judge of the Supreme Court. However it is imminent that reference of Supreme Judicial Council would further open gates for allegations and counter allegations so it would be better for the government to avoid any attack on judiciary by calling any judge incompetent and specifically focus on Musharraf case according to its policies.
However this is one part of the game in which government is looking indulged. But Major problem lies on our economic front and the current government team is not competent to deal with the challenges. Hence to bring country on track whole economic team needs to be changed. Country is full of competent people; only will is required to find them.