Nawaz surrenders to Gen Musharraf
ISLAMABAD: Nawaz Sharif Thursday surrendered to General Musharraf but in the process made a mockery of the Constitution and rule of law.
The government’s decision to give a safe exit to the dictator has served as a cruel joke, and badly exposed the hollowness of the system which has proved yet again that it protects the powerful and mighty but punishes the weak and vulnerable.Irony is that the Supreme Court on Wednesday cleared the judiciary’s hurdles for Musharraf’s exit from Pakistan and threw the ball in the Nawaz Sharif government’s court to decide the matter.
On Thursday, Nawaz regime allowed Musharraf to leave Pakistan, arguing that it has been done in the light of the apex court order.
The SC had, though upheld SHC verdict of removing former military ruler’s name from ECL, clearly said that this order would not preclude the federal government from passing any legal order for regulating Musharraf’s custody or restricting his movement.
“Why don’t you take an independent decision by regulating the movement of the accused,” the chief justice was quoted by the The News to have asked the attorney general. The CJP added that if the Federation thinks that the respondent (Musharraf) should not leave the country then it should decide the matter independently.
A day later on Thursday, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, while announcing government’s decision to allow Musharraf to leave Pakistan, argued that the government has permitted Pervez Musharraf to travel abroad in the light of Supreme Court orders. He said that the Supreme Court’s decision should be acceptable to all.
All the hurdles and impediments are clear now for General Musharraf to fly abroad. It’s a case of the utter failure of the system, which has proved that it has no strength to try even a former dictator. The fragility of system is such that an accused of the most serious crime of hi-treason, the person wanted by different courts and who’s arrest warrants have even been issued, is allowed to fly out of Pakistan for treatment.
Such a luxury of treatment abroad for an influential accused of hi-treason, murder etc. can only be possible in a poor country like Pakistan where a petty thief is put behind jail for years without even a court verdict and does hardly have any health facility.
Interestingly, Musharraf through his counsel has assured both the judiciary and the executive that he would come back as soon as he gets recovered. But there is no one around, including even Musharraf’s counsel, who guarantees that he will return and face the trial. In case he does not come back, and one believes he will not, who will be held accountable? No one.
So, the situation is that Musharraf has succeeded to escape from his trial. He has proved that he belongs to the class that is always considered above the law.
Our judiciary and the executive had the opportunity to uphold the principle of rule of law, and this has been the most suitable case to focus on. Unfortunately, it has not been done.
Despite his tall claims in the past, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif might have now surrendered to Musharraf with a view that it would strengthen his government and please the military establishment. In reality, he has furthered weakened himself and left the door wide open for future military interventions.