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If Musharraf Committed Treason, The Chief Justice ‘Abetted’ Him, Will He Order To Hang Himself Too?
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 2:25 AM
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If Musharraf Committed Treason, The Chief Justice ‘Abetted’ Him, Will He Order To Hang Himself Too?
If former President Pervez Musharraf is charged with treason, he will not be alone. So should be the politicians who supported him and the Supreme Court judges who endorsed his coup in the year 2000. Almost all of the top judges in Pakistan today fall into this category. This is why the Supreme Court did not even mention the 1999 coup and restricted itself to condemning Musharraf for his 2007 emergency rule. The incumbent Chief Justice of Pakistan was among the judges who endorsed Mr. Musharraf’s coup. The Article 6 of the Constitution charges with treason not only violators like Musharraf but also the ‘abettors’ like the honorable judges who endorsed the violator. What a predicament.
By Danyal Aziz
Tuesday, 11 August 2009.
Is this a crime or not? If not, why the judges of 2007 are criminals but not the judges of 2000?
RAWALPINDI, Pakistan—Is Mr. Ansar Abbasi right about invoking Article 6 of the Constitution against former President Pervez Musharraf?
A dispassionate analysis of the said article of the Constitution proves that he is not right.
Article 6 states in clause 2 that “any person aiding or abetting the acts mentioned in clause 1 shall likewise be guilty of high treason”.
Article 6 cannot be applied selectively on President Musharraf alone but will have to be applied equally on all those who ‘abetted’ him.
Musharraf abrogated the Constitution twice. First in October 1999. It was a coup against an elected prime minister. Very few judges objected to the takeover and a majority of the judges took oath under the PCO, Parliament was dissolved and remained suspended for more than three years (endorsed by the Supreme Court) until it was reinstated in November 2002. The second was in November 2007 when the so called emergency rule was imposed. Interestingly, this was not a coup. The move targeted the judiciary. The government and the Parliament remained intact and the emergency lasted for six weeks.
Once Mr. Musharraf is charged for treason, justice cannot be selectively applied only on the action of 3 November 2007 while ignoring the more serious action of October 1999. It will therefore be imperative to try Musharraf and his abettors both for October 1999 and November 2007.
Now comes the one million dollar question: Will Article 6 be applied on the abettors of the two arrogations?
The ‘abettors’ in the Article 6 include senior members of the present Supreme Court who abetted the coup in 1999. All members of the present Supreme Court of Pakistan had pledged their allegiance to Musharraf by taking the PCO oath in 2000.
The abettors of the coups led by generals Ayub, Yahya, and Zia ul Haq can be set aside because they and most of their abettors are no longer alive. But the ‘abettors’ of General Musharraf’s coup are around. All of them will have to be charged for treason along with Gen. Musharraf. That is the only that across-the-board justice will be done.
Do Ansar Abbasi and Hamid Mir want to proceed with this mass trial?
My advice is this: Let’s get out of the Musharraf-phobia and move on with life and the more important issues that the Nation is facing.
The writer is a Pakistani commentator who lives in Rawalpindi. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Biography: Pervez Musharraf
General (ret) Pervez Musharraf (Urdu: پرویز مشرف) (born 11 August 1943), NI(M), TBt, rcds, afwc, psc, gsc is a former President of Pakistan and a former Chief of Army Staff of the Pakistan Army.
He took power on 12 October 1999, ousting Nawaz Sharif, the elected Prime Minister of Pakistan, by effecting a military coup d’état. He dismissed the national and provincial legislative assemblies, assumed the title of Chief Executive and became Pakistan’s de facto head of government, thereby becoming the fourth Army chief of Pakistan to have assumed executive control. Later, in 2001, Musharraf appointed himself to the office of President. After Musharraf announced his intention to combat extremists, Western countries (including the United States and the United Kingdom) switched from a policy of sanctions to active support through military and monetary aid.
On 3 November 2007, only days before a panel of the Supreme Court of Pakistan was to decide on a petition challenging the constitutional validity of his re-election as president in the controversial October 2007 elections, he, as Chief of Army Staff, suspended the constitution, jailed several justices and lawyers of the supreme court including Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, ordered the arrest of political dissidents and human rights activists, and shut down all private television channels. On 3 November 2007, Musharraf declared a state of emergency in Pakistan which lasted until 15 December 2007. During this time, the constitution of the country was suspended
On 24 November 2007, the Pakistan Election Commission confirmed his re-election as President.
On 18 August 2008, Pervez Musharraf resigned from the post of President under impeachment pressure from the coalition government. Consequently, his website was removed since he was no longer President. He was succeeded on 6 September 2008 by Asif Ali Zardari, duly elected as Pakistan’s 11th President since 1956.
Pervez Musharraf was born on 18 August 1943 in Nahr wali Haveli, situated in Kacha Saad Ullah Mohallah, Daryaganj in Delhi, British India. He is from a family of civil servants. After Musharraf’s grandfather, Qazi Mohtashimuddin, retired as the commissioner of undivided Punjab he bought Neharwali Haveli in the old walled city of Delhi where Musharraf was born. The haveli, with its high roofs and arches, is believed to have been the home of a “Wazir” (Minister) in the court of Bahadur Shah Zafar — the last Mughal emperor of the 19th century. After partition, Musharraf’s family migrated to Pakistan where his father, Syed Musharraf Uddin — a graduate of Aligarh University — joined the Pakistan foreign service and later retired as Secretary of foreign affairs. Musharraf’s mother, Zarin, received her master’s degree from the University of Lucknow in 1944. She recently retired from the UNO agency in ISB.
He revealed in his memoirs that he was critically injured after falling from a mango tree as a teenager, and he considers this his first direct experience with death.
Musharraf attended Saint Patrick’s School, Karachi, graduating in 1958, later attending Forman Christian College in Lahore. He is said to have been good in mathematics during his student days.
Musharraf is married to Sehba, who is from Okara. They have a son, Bilal, who was a graduate student at Stanford University and currently works in Silicon Valley, and a daughter, Ayla Raza, who works as an architect in Karachi.
In 1961, he entered the Pakistan Military Academy at Kakul, graduating 11th in his class. He was commissioned on April 19, 1964 in the Artillery Regiment. Later he joined the Special Services Group and was posted to Field Artillery Regiments. A graduate of the Command and Staff College, Quetta, and the National Defence College, Rawalpindi, Musharraf is also a graduate of the Royal College of Defence Studies of the United Kingdom. Musharraf revealed in his memoirs that in 1965 he was charged with taking unauthorized leave and was about to be court-martialed for it, but was excused due to the war with India.
Musharraf participated in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 16 (SP) Field Artillery Regiment. His regiment saw action as part of the First Armoured Division’s offensive in the Khemkaran sector; as part of a major offensive against the Indian Army, the Pakistani army advanced 15 miles (24 km) into India and it was in the town of Khem Karan that Musharraf wrote his first letter to his mother during the war “proudly saying that I was writing from India”. However, despite the initial success and even though possessing a quantitative advantage and significant superiority in armour, the 1st armoured division (labelled “Pride of the Pakistan Army”) suffered a “crushing defeat” at Khemkaran, which became known as “Patton Nagar” or graveyard of Pakistani tanks. By all accounts the vital advance failed at the Battle of Asal Uttar, as Pakistan lost a golden opportunity to make major strategic gains; this was a turning point in the war. His regiment was later moved to the Lahore front, which was threatened by the Indian Army. According to Musharraf, “Having stabilized the Lahore front, we were ordered to move again to the Sialkot front. This was where the famous tank battles of Chawinda were fought. At the end of the war this sector was to become a graveyard of Indian tanks.”. During the war Musharraf was noted for sticking to his post under shellfire. Towards the end of the war an Indian shell hit one of the artillery guns of Musharraf’s unit and set it on fire. According to Musharraf, whilst everyone else took cover, he, followed by a soldier, “dashed to the blazing gun” and removed the “hot shells” one by one and “threw them to safety on the ground”. For this he received an award for gallantry and was promoted to the rank of captain.
Later, in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, he served as a Company Commander in the Special Service Group (SSG) Commando Battalion. Originally scheduled to be flown to East Pakistan along with other SSG troops, he was redeployed in Punjab as war broke out and all flights over India were cancelled. He later admitted that he “broke down and wept” when he heard the “disgusting” news of Pakistan’s unconditional surrender to India. Later he commanded regiments of artillery, an Artillery Brigade and then an infantry division. In September 1987, he was instrumental in giving orders to a newly formed SSG at Khapalu base (Kashmir), which launched an assault and successfully captured two intermediate posts, Bilafond La in Siachen Glacier, before being pushed back.
On promotion to the rank of Major General on 15 January 1991, he was assigned the command of an infantry Division. Later, on promotion to Lieutenant General on 21 October 1995 he took over command of 1 Corps, the elite strike corps. In 1998, following the resignation of General Jehangir Karamat, he was personally promoted over other senior officers by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and took over as the Army Chief of Staff and Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee.
Role in Kargil Conflict
From May to July 1999, Pakistan and India were involved in the Kargil Conflict, an armed conflict between the two countries in the Kargil district of Kashmir. It was planned and executed during General Musharraf’s term as the Pakistani Army Chief of Staff under Prime Minister Sharif.
Sharif has claimed that Musharraf was solely responsible for the Kargil attacks. On the other hand, Musharraf claims that the decision was made by Sharif, who was under United States pressure. Ex-CENTCOM Commander Anthony Zinni, and Sharif, have stated that Musharraf requested that the Prime Minister withdraw Pakistani troops from Kashmir.
Casualties on both sides had been particularly heavy in Kargil. Musharraf had good relations with Jehangir Karamat from whom he took over the command. Soon after the coup, one of the first to be appointed as minister was journalist Maleeha Lodhi who was close to Jehangir Karamat. Also recruited was Shaukat Aziz (who served as the country’s Prime Minister later) who volunteered to improve the economy. Western banks rescheduled Pakistani loans, which had been subjected to economic sanctions since Pakistan conducted atomic testing.
Pervez Musharraf resigned from the Army on 28 November 2007 in an attempt to regularize his position as President.
Military coup d’état
Musharraf became de facto Head of Government (using the title Chief Executive and assuming extensive powers) of Pakistan following a bloodless coup d’état on 12 October 1999. That day, Sharif attempted to dismiss Musharraf and install Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Director Ziauddin Butt in his place. Musharraf, who was out of the country, boarded a commercial airliner to return to Pakistan. Senior army generals refused to accept Musharraf’s dismissal, which was deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
Sharif ordered the Karachi airport closed to prevent the landing of the airliner, which then circled the skies over Karachi. In the coup, the Generals ousted Sharif’s administration and took over the airport. The plane landed, allegedly with only a few minutes of fuel to spare, and Musharraf assumed control of the government. Sharif was put under house arrest and later exiled to Saudia Arabia, where he resided until he returned again to Pakistan on 25 November 2007.
He and other leaders have subsequently been prevented from entering Pakistan. Although the disagreement between Musharraf and Sharif started from the day Nawaz Sharif ordered withdrawal of troops from Kargil it reportedly centred around the Prime Minister’s desire to find a diplomatic resolution to the conflict with India in the Kashmir region.
The existing President of Pakistan, Rafiq Tarar, remained in office until June 2001. Musharraf formally appointed himself President on 20 June 2001, just days before his scheduled visit to Agra for talks with India.
Support for the War on Terrorism
Following the September 11, 2001 attacks, Musharraf sided with the United States against the Taliban government in Afghanistan after an ultimatum by U.S. President George W. Bush. Musharraf agreed to give the United States the use of three airbases for Operation Enduring Freedom. United States Secretary of State Colin Powell and other administration officials met with Musharraf. On 19 September 2001, Musharraf addressed the people of Pakistan and stated that, while he opposed military tactics against the Taliban, Pakistan risked being endangered by an alliance of India and the U.S. if it did not cooperate. In 2006, Musharraf testified that this stance was pressured by threats from the U.S., and revealed in his memoirs that he had “war-gamed” the United States as an adversary and decided that it would end in a loss for Pakistan.
The leadership in Pakistan war-gamed the USA and NATO as an enemy and realized that it was worthless committing suicide over the obstinate Taliban. Pakistan’s stagnated economy had only slightly started recovering, after being tagged as one of the highest indebted countries. Galvanizing the whole nation into agreeing to fight the USA and NATO was another impossible task. Indian eagerness to join the War on Terror was an alarming condition that Pakistan could not have over-looked. Indian jets flying over Pakistan’s space, with the Strategic assets’ lying below were a suicidal recipe. An accidental Indian bomb dropped on the Kahuta plant would have created disaster.. Pakistan drew up plans to secure its NWFP border along Afghanistan. Around 80,000 troops were placed to patrol and were assigned specific targets.
Relations with India
Musharraf was Chief of Army Staff at the time of Mujahideen incursions into India from Pakistan-administered Kashmir in the summer of 1999. Although Pakistan claimed that these were Kashmiri freedom fighters based in Indian-controlled Kashmir, later developments showed that they were Pakistani paramilitary soldiers backing up the separatists on the mountain top. After fierce fighting, Pakistani soldiers were pulled back due to pressure from the international community.
However, in Battle Ready, a book co-authored by ex-CENTCOM Commander in Chief Anthony Zinni and novelist Tom Clancy, the former alleges that Musharraf was the one who pushed Sharif to withdraw the Pakistani troops after being caught in a losing scenario. According to an ex-official of the Musharraf government, Hassan Abbas, Musharraf planned the whole operation and sold the idea to Sharif. The view that Musharraf wanted to attempt the Kargil infiltrations much earlier was also revealed by Bhutto in an interview with a leading daily newspaper, where he had supposedly boasted that “he would hoist the flag of Pakistan atop the Srinagar Assembly” if his plan was executed. Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) (PML(N)), a leading Pakistan party added that Musharraf had planned the Kargil intrusions but panicked when the conflict broke out with India and decided to alert Sharif. Since the Kargil incident occurred just after the Lahore Peace Summit earlier that year, Musharraf is often regarded with scepticism in India.
In the middle of 2004, Musharraf began a series of talks with India to solve the Kashmir dispute. Both leaders also discussed the following issues: Wullar Barrage and Kishangaga power project, Baglihar Dam on the Chenab River being built by India in Jammu and Kashmir, disputed Sir Creek estuary at the mouth of the Rann of Kutch, Siachin glacier, issues of Gurdaspur and Ferozepur’s status, minority rights, Indian contentions that Pakistan is sponsoring “cross-border” terrorism.
In 2007, Musharraf stated, after a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, that the current push to normalize relations between the two states is “irreversible.”
Richard Armitage comments
During a 24 September 2006 interview with Steve Kroft on 60 Minutes, Musharraf said that then-U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage had called Musharraf’s intelligence director shortly following the 9/11 attacks and threatened military action if Pakistan did not support the U.S.-led “war on terror”. According to Musharraf, Armitage warned: “Be prepared to be bombed. Be prepared to go back to the Stone Age.” Furthermore, during an interview with Jon Stewart of The Daily Show on 26 September 2006, Musharraf stated that then-Secretary of State Colin Powell also contacted him with a similar message: “You are with us or against us.” Musharraf refused to elaborate further, citing the then-upcoming release of his book, In the Line of Fire: A Memoir (ISBN 0-7432-8344-9). Armitage has, however, categorically denied that the U.S. used such harsh words to threaten Pakistan, whereas President Bush has refrained from publicly acknowledging the possibility of the exact wordings being used.
One of the most widely-reported controversies during Musharraf’s administration arose as a consequence of the disclosure of nuclear proliferation by Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, the metallurgist known as the father of Pakistan’s bomb. Musharraf has denied knowledge of or participation by Pakistan’s government or army in this proliferation and has faced bitter domestic criticism for singularly vilifying Khan, a former national hero. Khan has been pardoned in exchange for cooperation in the investigation, but is still under house arrest.
Relations with China
Musharraf accused Western leaders and media of politicizing the 2008 Summer Olympics by criticizing China’s human rights record and its policy in Tibet. He also said he would cooperate with China, which is a historical ally to Pakistan, in the fight against terrorism.
President Musharraf was internally Pro-China and kept the strategic relations intact. During President Musharraf’s government, China for the first time allowed a Pakistani president access to one of its most advanced and secret military research facilities, a great honor for President Musharraf.
Relations with Saudi Arabia
Pakistan’s relationship with Saudi Arabia continues to grow. After his coup in October 1999, Riyadh was the first foreign capital General Pervez Musharraf visited, to signify the importance he gave to PAK-Saudi relations.
King Abdullah’s first visit to Pakistan in 2006 as ruler, he was welcomed at the airport by both President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shawkat Aziz, a reflection of the strong ties between the two nations. Hundreds of thousands of Pakistanis lined the road from the airport to welcome the Saudi King. President Musharraf and the Saudi King, take a common stand on the war on terror and expanding trade ties, as well as international issues such as Kashmir, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Iraq, Iran’s nuclear program, Afghanistan and reform of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). President Musharraf honored King Abdullah by conferring upon him Pakistan’s highest civil award, Nishan-e-Pakistan, in a colorful investiture ceremony at the presidential palace.
On 21 Jan 2007, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah conferred the King Abdul Aziz Medallion, the Kingdom’s top honor, on Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf during a ceremony at his palace in Riyadh. The first Pakistani leader ever to receive this highest Saudi honor.
Actions Against Corruption (Anti-graft law)
On 17 November 1999 the drive against big loan defaulters, including politicians and industrialists, was launched this morning, hours after the midnight expiry of a four-week deadline for voluntary returns which yielded minimal response.
The crackdown coincided with promulgation of a harsher Anti-Corruption law providing for barring of economic offenders from holding public office for 21 years and imprisonment for up to 14 years.
The Ordinance, promulgated by President Mohammad Rafiq Tarar, also provides for setting up of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to expeditiously pursue all cases of economic offences with retrospective effect from January one, 1985.
The Ordinance was issued following disappointing recoveries during the deadline period that saw the defaulters cough up of an estimated Rs 700 crore—a little more than three per cent of the total bad loans exceeding Rs 21,000 crore.
Shortly after Musharraf’s takeover, several people filed court petitions challenging his assumption of power. However, he got The Oath of Judges Order 2000 issued. It required the judges to take a fresh oath of office swearing allegiance to military rule and to state they would make no decisions against the military. Many judges refused and resigned in protest. On 12 May 2000, the Supreme Court asked Musharraf to hold national elections by 12 October 2002; elections for local governments took place in 2001.
In an attempt to legitimize his presidency and assure its continuance after the approaching restoration of democracy, he held a referendum on 30 April 2002 to extend his term to five years after the October elections. The voter turnout was 80 percent by most estimates, amidst claims of irregularities. A few weeks later, Musharraf went on TV and apologized to the nation for “irregularities” in the referendum.
In August 2002, he passed the Legal Framework Order which provided for the general elections of 2002 and the revival of the 1973 Constitution, but added numerous amendments to the Constitution. The Supreme Court rejected part of the Order.
General elections were held in October 2002 and a plurality of the seats in the Parliament was won by the Pakistan Muslim League (Q) (PML-Q), a pro-Musharraf party. It formed a majority coalition with independents and allies such as the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM). However, parties opposed to Musharraf effectively paralysed the National Assembly for over a year. The following month, Musharraf handed over certain powers to the newly elected Parliament. The National Assembly elected Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali as Prime Minister, who in turn appointed his own cabinet.
In December 2003, Musharraf made a deal with Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, a six-member coalition of Islamic parties, agreeing to leave the army by 31 December 2004. With that party’s support, pro-Musharraf legislators were able to muster the two-thirds supermajority required to pass the Seventeenth Amendment, which retroactively legalized Musharraf’s 1999 coup and many of his decrees. In late 2004, Musharraf went back on his agreement with the MMA and pro-Musharraf legislators in the Parliament passed a bill allowing Musharraf to keep both offices. Constitution Article 63 clause (1) paragraph (d), read with proviso to Article 41 clause (7) paragraph (b), allows the President to hold dual office.
Denunciation of extremism
On 12 January 2002, Musharraf gave a landmark speech against Islamic extremism, a few months after September 11. He unequivocally condemned all acts of terrorism and pledged to combat Islamic extremism and lawlessness within Pakistan itself.
At the same time as banning foreign funding of Islamic educational institutions, he made it compulsory for them to teach a whole host of additional subjects such as computing. This meant that many had to close due to the halt of funds from Pakistanis working abroad resulting in not being able to teach the additional subjects that he had made compulsory. Musharraf also instituted prohibitions on foreign students’ access to studying Islam within Pakistan, an effort which began as an outright ban but was later reduced to restrictions on obtaining visas.
In 2004, he proposed “Enlightened Moderation” as an alternative to Islamic fundamentalism. On 18 September 2005, Musharraf made a historic speech before a broad based audience of Jewish leadership, sponsored by the American Jewish Congress’s Council for World Jewry, in New York City. In the speech, he denounced terrorism and opened the door to relationships between Pakistan and Israel, as well as between the Muslim world and Jews worldwide. He was widely criticized by Middle Eastern Arab leaders and Muslim clerics, but was met with some praise among Jewish leadership.
On 13 September 2007, 300 Pakistani troops were captured by Islamic militants. Terrorists then bombed Musharraf’s own SSG unit, killing 16, and launched rocket attacks in the North-West Frontier province and Tribal areas.
In 2000 Kamram Atif, allegedly a member of Harkat-ul Mujahideen al-Alami, tried to assassinate Musharraf. Atif was sentenced to death in 2006 by an Anti Terrorism Court.
On 14 December 2003, Musharraf survived an assassination attempt when a powerful bomb went off minutes after his highly-guarded convoy crossed a bridge in Rawalpindi. It was the third such attempt during his four-year rule. On 25 December 2003, two suicide bombers tried to assassinate Musharraf, but their car bombs failed to kill him; 16 others nearby died instead. Musharraf escaped with only a cracked windscreen on his car. Militant Amjad Farooqi was apparently suspected of being the mastermind behind these attempts, and was killed by Pakistani forces in 2004 after an extensive manhunt.
On 6 July 2007, there was another attempted assassination, when an unknown group fired a 7.62 submachine gun at Musharraf’s plane as it took off from a runway in Rawalpindi. Security also recovered 2 anti-aircraft guns, from which no shots had been fired. On 17 July 2007, Pakistani police detained 39 people in relation to the attempted assassination of Musharraf. They were detained at an undisclosed location by a joint team of Punjab Police, the Federal Investigation Agency and other Pakistani intelligence agencies.
2004 confidence vote
PML-Q led government with the help of the religious parties the MMA, secured 2/3 majority in National assembly and Senate and constitionally validated Musharraf’s election.
On 1 January 2004 Musharraf had won a confidence vote in the Electoral College of Pakistan, consisting of both houses of Parliament and the four provincial assemblies. Musharraf received 658 out of 1170 votes, a 56 percent majority, but many opposition and Islamic members of parliament walked out to protest the vote. As a result of this vote, according to Article 41( of the Constitution of Pakistan, Musharraf was “deemed to be elected” to the office of President. His term was extended to 2007.
Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali resigned on 26 June 2004, after losing the support of the PML(Q). His resignation was at least partly due to his public differences with the party chairman Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, and was rumoured to have happened at Musharraf’s command, although neither man has confirmed this. Jamali had been appointed with the support of Musharraf’s and the pro-Musharraf PML(Q). Most PML(Q) parliamentarians formerly belonged to the Pakistan Muslim League party led by Sharif, and most ministers of the cabinet were formerly senior members of other parties, joining the PML(Q) after the elections upon being offered powerful offices. It is believed that Musharraf replaced Jamali due to his poor performance and in his place Musharraf nominated Shaukat Aziz, the minister for finance and a former employee of Citibank and head of Citibank Private Banking as the new prime minister.
In 1999, under Nawaz Sharif, Revenue generation of around Rs.308 billion could not meet the growing expenditure requirements; with only an average of Rs.80 billion being spent on Public sector development programs (PSDP) annually, and no visible project to boast about. From this Rs.308 billion around 65% was being utilized for debt servicing. In 1988 Pakistan’s foreign debt was $18 billion, but at the end of 1999 it had accumulated to become $38 billion. A 100% increased burden on the already crippled economy. Public and external debt exceeded 300% of Foreign exchange earnings.
Musharraf then appointed Shaukat Aziz, a former Citibank executive, as finance minister. Profile: Shaukat Aziz – BBC News
Pakistan’s Economic Comparison 1999 to 2007
* Pakistan’s economy grew by 100% — to become $ 160 billion
* Revenue grew by 100% — to become $ 11.4 billion
* Per Capita Income grew by 100% — to become $ 925
* Foreign Reserves grew by 500% — to become $ 17 billion
* Exports grew by 100% — to become $ 18.5 billion
* Textile exports grew by 100% — to become $ 11.2 billion
* Karachi Stock Exchange grew by 500% — to become $ 75 billion
* Foreign Direct Investment grew by 500% — to become $ 8.4 billion
* Annual Debt servicing decreased by 35% — to become 26%
* Poverty decreased by 10% — to become 24%
* Literacy ratio grew by 10% — to become 54%
* Public development Funds grew by 100% — to become Rs 520 billion
The vision and policies helped Pakistan come out of the list of Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) while setting it on path of prosperity, growth and economic reforms. The world financial institutions like the World Bank and IMF and ADB have been praising Pakistan for its reforms, fiscal policies and macro-economic achievements.
Pakistan show tremendous reduction in poverty during the period 2000 – 2007. According official figures, the poverty level dropped from 34% to 24% and the overall living standard improves dramatically.
Under Musharraf’s tenure, Pakistan saw exceptional setup of 47 universities, including Virtual University, under the supervision of Higher Education Commission. Most of the universities were of international standards.
Pakistan now has a total of 245,682 educational institutions in all categories, including 164,579 (i.e. 67 per cent) in the public sector and 81,103 (i.e. 100 per cent) in the private sector, reports the National Education Census (NEC-2005). The census — jointly conducted by the Ministry of Education, the Academy of Educational Planning and Management (AEPAM) and the Federal Bureau of Statistics (FBS) — reveals that the number of private-sector institutions has increased from 36,096 in 1999-2000 to 81,103 in 2005, i.e. by 100 per cent. 45,007 Educational Institutions have increased in Musharraf Era.
The credit for amending the Hudood ordinance[clarification needed] goes entirely to President Musharraf. He is the only leader who had shown tremendous courage and determination to amend a piece of legislation that had been a bane for women since 1979. A parliamentary bill becomes a law when it receives the presidential assent under Article 75 of the 1973 Constitution. The National Assembly voted in favor of the “Protection of Women bill” on 15 Nov 2006 and the Senate approved it on 23 Nov 2006. President General Pervez Musharraf signed into law the “Protection of Women Bill”, on 1 December 2006. The bill places rape laws under the penal code and does away with harsh conditions that previously required victims to produce four male witnesses and exposed them to prosecution for adultery if they were unable to prove the crime.
Increased reserved seats for women in assemblies, to increase women’s representation and make their presence more effective. Previously there were 20 seats reserved for women in national assembly now there are 60 seats for them. In provincial assemblies there were collectively seats 23 for women and now this figure is 128. This situation has brought out increase participation of women for 2002 and 2008 elections.
Ethnic Minorities Rights
General Pervez Musharraf upon assuming power promised protection of the rights of religious minorities and an end to the culture of religious intolerance. A Christian, Derick Cyprian, was appointed as a federal minister and the government undertook to repeal all discriminatory laws. There have been some positive developments in according basic rights to religious minorities, although in real terms their impact has been nullified by the growth of extremism and intolerance within the fabric of the society. General Musharraf has continued with his promise that religious minorities will be protected, and there are limited signs that Christians, Hindus (and, to a lesser extent, the Ahmaddiyas) are not being overtly discriminated against with regard to public positions. In August 2005, Justice Rana Bhagwandas (a Hindu) was sworn in as acting Chief Justice. Among noticeable positive steps taken by the military government are the declaration of the abolition of separate electorates, apparent curbs on extremist and sectarian groups, and a sense of inclusivity of all religious communities. The thaw in the relations with India allowed greater influx of Hindu and Sikh pilgrims and, during 2004-5, the Punjab government allocated funds to renovate the Krishna Mandir temple in Lahore. In addition, the Pakistani Constitution reserves 10 national assembly seats for religious minorities.
When Musharraf came to power, he claimed that the corruption in the government bureaucracy would be cleaned up. According to Transparency International, Pakistan has improved its ratings under Musharraf’s regime, from being the 11th most corrupt country to fall down to 41st.
In 2002, according to a survey by Transparency International, Pakistan’s rating improved from 11th most corrupt country in 2001 to 24th, according to a TI press release
In 2007, according to Transparency International, Pakistan is clearly ranked 138th out of 179 countries. That places Pakistan as the 41st most corrupt country in 2007
Suspension and reinstatement of the Chief Justice
On 9 March 2007, Musharraf suspended the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, pressing corruption charges against him and filed a reference against the Chief Justice, in the Supreme Judicial Council according to Article 209(2) and Article 209(5)(b) of the Constitution of Pakistan. Thus on 13 March 2007, when the Supreme Judicial Council met, it was headed by Acting Chief Justice Javed Iqbal.
Text of presidential reference against Chief Justice included:
1- There are complaints of orders being verbally announced in open court in favour of one party and subsequently a written order at variance from the order announced in court being delivered. Two such cases have acquired particular notoriety. In one of these two cases it is alleged that amounts as large as Rs.55million may have been involved.
2- Chief Justice had intimidated civil servants, including pressuring an administrator, to influence by his position to gain undue advantage by “insisting” on an increase and enhancement in his entitlements or in securing the relaxation of the rules in that respect.
3- Chief Justice influenced government offices to promote his son’s career. On 22 June 2005 Dr. Arsalan Iftikhar was appointed as Medical Officer/Demonstrator in the Institute of Public Health, Quetta.
4- Chief Justice Chaudhry had received hundreds of thousands of rupees for reimbursement of gasoline for his car. The receipts he submitted were for a pump that only sold diesel fuel. Chief Justice had claimed reimbursement for airfare for his wife and children when he was not entitled to claim it.
5- Chief Justice had arranged for the allotment of a plot of land in Karachi to which he was not entitled.
Musharraf’s moves sparked protests among Pakistani lawyers. On 12 March 2007, lawyers started Judicial Activism across Pakistan and began boycotting all court procedures in protest against the suspension. In Islamabad, as well as other cities such as Lahore, Karachi and Quetta, hundreds of lawyers dressed in black suits attended rallies, condemning the suspension as unconstitutional. Slowly the expressions of support for the ousted Chief Justice gathered momentum and by May, protesters and opposition parties took out huge rallies against Musharraf and his tenure as army chief was also challenged in the courts.
On 20 July, the Supreme Court reinstated Chaudhry. Delivering the court’s verdict, presiding Judge Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday said: “The reference [against Mr Chaudhry] has been set aside and the chief justice has been reinstated.”
“The president respects the decision of the Supreme Court,” Gen Musharraf’s spokesman was quoted as saying by the state-run Associated Press of Pakistan. “The president has stated earlier that any judgement the Supreme Court arrives at will be honoured, respected and adhered to,” the spokesman said.
“I would like to emphasise that we must all accept the verdict with grace and dignity reflective of a mature nation” Shaukat Aziz accepted Supreme Court verdict. All Federal ministers and senior Pakistan Muslim League leaders said the government had accepted the Supreme Court’s verdict to reinstate the chief justice of Pakistan.
PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari also has reportedly refused to reinstate the sacked chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, apparently due to the fear that the latter, if reinstated, might reopen for adjudication cases on the National Reconciliation Order. During a meeting of leaders of the ruling coalition in Lahore on 23 July 2008, Zardari repeatedly insisted on not reinstating Chaudhry, reported the Daily Times.
Lal Masjid siege
The Musharraf government was forced to act against the Lal Masjid militants, after they formally announced the establishment of a parallel judicial system. The pro-Taliban Lal Masjid administration vowed to enforce Islamic laws in the federal capital and threatened to unleash a wave of suicide bombers if the government took any action to counter it. “Our youth will commit suicide attacks, if the government impedes the enforcement of the Sharia and attacks Lal Masjid and its sister seminaries,” Maulana Abdul Aziz, the in-charge of the mosque said in his Friday sermon.
The standoff between the Pakistani government and the clerics of the Lal Masjid in Islamabad finally broke down on the morning of 8 July 2007, when the official government delegation led by Shujaat Hussain declared that the negotiations with the militants holed up in the mosque have reached an agreement. However, the clerics refused to release the hostages as promised by them in the agreement. Musharraf had given the militants some six months to lay down arms and abide the law of country.
The government managed to recover 1,300 men, women and children during the operation. Some of these women, who were recovered safely on the last day of the operation, had their written death wishes with them. Six hundred suicide bombers are present in Karachi revealed Qasim Toori and Danish alias Talha during interrogations by law-enforcement agencies. Most of the suicide bombers are also former students of Islamabad’s Lal Masjid.
Relations with Benazir Bhutto
Also on 8 August 2007, Benazir Bhutto spoke about her secret meeting with Musharraf on 27 July, in an interview on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
On 14 September 2007, Deputy Information Minister Tariq Azim stated that Bhutto won’t be deported, but must face corruption suits against her. He clarified Sharif’s and Bhutto’s right to return to Pakistan: “Nawaz Sharif’s case was different. He went back to Saudi Arabia because of an undertaking he had with the Saudi government; She (Bhutto) was always allowed to come back.” Pakistan People’s Party Farhatullah Babar said that Benazir Bhutto will forthwith declare the exact date of her return: “We are announcing the date of the return for Benazir Bhutto to Pakistan at 5:00 p.m. (1200 GMT)” (Makhdoom Amin Fahim will publish it at a news conference in Islamabad.” Musharraf faced a rising militant violence, with a suicide bombing killing 15 elite commandos on 13 September. Bhutto declared her return from eight years exile on 18 October. Makhdoom Amin Faheem, vice chair of Pakistan Peoples Party said that “Benazir Bhutto will be landing in Karachi on 18 October.”
On 17 September 2007, Bhutto accused Musharraf’s allies of pushing Pakistan to crisis by refusal to restore democracy and share power. Sheikh Rashid Ahmed stated that officials had agreed to grant Benazir Bhutto amnesty in pending corruption charges.
Musharraf called for a three day mourning period after Bhutto’s assassination on 27 December 2007
Resignation from the Army
On 2 October 2007, Musharraf named Lt. Gen. Ashfaq Kayani as vice chief of the army starting 8 October. When Musharraf resigned from military on 28 November 2007, Kayani became Chief of Army Staff.
Return of Nawaz Sharif
Sharif returned to Pakistan in September 2007, and was immediately arrested and taken into custody at the airport.
Saudi intelligence chief Prince Muqrin bin Abdul Aziz and Lebanese politician Saad Hariri arrived separately in Islamabad on 8 September 2007, the former with a message from Saudi King Abdullah and the latter after a meeting with Nawaz Sharif in London. After meeting President General Pervez Musharraf for two-and-a-half hours, Prince Muqrin and Hariri addressed an unprecedented joint press conference at Army House, telling journalists that “Nawaz was bound under the agreement not to return to Pakistan before ten years in exile. We sincerely hope that Nawaz Sharif honours this agreement,” Prince Muqrin said. Asked about the details of the agreement, Prince Muqrin waved a copy of the agreement to the media and said: “It is here and signed.”
On arrival in Saudi Arabia, Nawaz Sharif was received by Prince Muqrin bin Abdul Aziz, the Saudi intelligence chief, who had met Musharraf in Islamabad the previous day. That meeting had been followed by a rare press conference, at which he had warned that Sharif should not violate the terms of King Abdullah’s agreement of staying out of politics for 10 years.
2007 presidential elections
In an interview in March 2007, Musharraf said that he intends to stay in the office for another five years.
A nine-member panel of Supreme Court judges deliberated on six petitions (including Jamaat-e-Islami’s, Pakistan’s largest Islamic group) for disqualification of Musharraf as presidential candidate. Bhutto stated that her party may join other opposition groups, including Sharif’s. Attorney-general Malik Mohammed Qayyum stated that, pendente lite, the Election Commission was “reluctant” to announce the schedule for the presidential vote.
On 24 September 2007, the president of the Supreme Court bar association, Munir Malik, announced that former Supreme Court judge Wajihuddin Ahmed would challenge Musharraf in Pakistan’s October presidential election. Ahmad had little chance of defeating Musharraf (since the president is elected by parliament and provincial assemblies).
On 28 September 2007, in a 6-3 vote, the court presided by Judge Rana Bhagwandas ruled: “These petitions are held to be non-maintainable.” The judgment removed obstacles to Musharraf’s election bid.
1- PML-Q government passed a constitutional amendment in National Assembly, with 2/3 majority, also approved by Senate that allowed President Musharraf to hold dual offices.
2- Constitution of Pakistan – Article 63 clause (1) paragraph (d), read with proviso to Article 41 clause (7) paragraph (b), allows the President to hold dual office.
3- Supreme Court of Pakistan on 28 September 2007, allowed President Musharraf to stand for elections in October 2007.
4- President Musharraf was elected President of Pakistan, on 6 October 2007, by a combined electoral of the Senate, National Assembly and the FOUR Provincial Assembles.
5- President Musharraf won by 58% votes declared in November 2007, as the constitutional President of Pakistan!
Emergency declared in Pakistan
On 3 November 2007 Musharraf declared emergency rule across Pakistan. He suspended the Constitution, imposed State of Emergency, and fired the chief justice of the Supreme Court. While addressing the nation on State Television, Musharraf declared that the state of emergency was imposed in the country. In Islamabad, troops entered the Supreme Court building, arrested the judges and kept them under detention in their homes. Troops were deployed inside state-run TV and radio stations, while independent channels went off air.
Pakistani general election, 2008
On 23 March 2008, President Musharraf said an “era of democracy” has begun in Pakistan. He has put the country “on the track of development and progress.” On 22 March, the Pakistan Peoples Party named former parliament speaker Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani as its candidate for the country’s next prime minister, to lead a coalition government united against him. A confirmation vote is scheduled for 24 March 2008 in parliament, and the prime minister would be sworn in by Musharraf 25 March 2008.
The statistics of the Election Commission, showed party position as follows, in the February 2008 elecions.
* The PML-Q and its allies: 10,844,233 votes. (40%)
* The PPP-P: 10,055,491 votes. (37%)
* PML-N: 6,240,343 votes. (23%)
* Total votes cast: 27.14 million
Impeachment movement and resignation
On 7 August 2008, the Pakistan Peoples Party and the Pakistan Muslim League (N) agreed to force Musharraf to step down and begin his impeachment. Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif announced sending a formal request or joint charge sheet that he step down, and impeach him through parliamentary process upon refusal. Musharraf, however, said: “I will defeat those who try to push me to the wall. If they use their right to oust me, I have the right to defend myself.” Musharraf, accordingly delayed his departure for the Beijing Olympics, by a day. A senior coalition official told Reuters: “Yes, we have agreed in principle to impeach him.” The draft of the ruling coalition’s joint statement had been finalized by the draft Committee, and Musharraf would have to obtain vote of confidence from the National Assembly and 4 provincial assemblies. The government summoned the national assembly, or lower house of parliament, to sit on 11 August. Capt. Wasif Syed, spokesman for the Pakistan People’s Party — confirmed: “A decision has been made that he has to go now, and all the parties have agreed on this point.”. It is speculated that Pervez Musharraf would have had to face corruption and even murder charges if he had kept refusing a graceful exit from the president house.
On Monday, 18 August 2008, in a speech defending his record, Musharraf announced that he had resigned.
When announcing his resignation, Musharraf, 65, said: “After viewing the situation and consulting legal advisers and political allies, with their advice I have decided to resign. I leave my future in the hands of people. Not a single charge in the impeachment can stand against me. No charge can be proved against me because I never did anything for myself, it was all for Pakistan. On the map of the world, Pakistan is now an important country, by the grace of Allah. Whether I win or lose the impeachment, the nation will lose. They don’t realize they can succeed against me but the country will undergo irreparable damage. My resignation will go to the speaker of the National Assembly today.” In an emotional one-hour speech, Musharraf raised his clenched fists to chest height, and said, “Long live Pakistan!” Text of Musharraf’s speech and Musharraf’s Last speech
“Nonetheless, despite his mistakes, he has been that rare phenomenon in Pakistani politics — an honest man with good intentions who tried to serve his country to the best of his abilities. In a country that has suffered so much over the years from corrupt and self-serving politicians, there have been too few figures like him” Honorable act by Musharraf – Arab News Editorial
In early 2007, Musharraf was extremely popular. According to a US survey, IRI President General Pervez Musharraf was more popular in Pakistan than opposition leaders Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif. Around 37 per cent of the respondents were of the view that Musharraf’s supported PML-Q deserved to be re-elected.
But by August 2007, after the lawyers Judicial Activism started, Musharraf became slightly unpopular in Pakistan due to persistent media efforts and anti-Musharraf talk shows. An International Republican Institute survey, taken of 3000 people, showed that 64 percent of the population did not want another term to be granted to Musharraf as the president of Pakistan.
Musharraf’s popularity grew after his resignation and several pro-Musharraf websites and groups on Facebook emerged.
In the most recent interview with Musharraf, Daphne Barak admits that she receives mails and people have started missing Musharraf: “Many emails are relatively flattering to you. I even have emails from PPP members who say that they never thought they will miss you, but they do. Especially young people!”
After resignation, Musharraf went for an expected pilgrimage to Mecca. He may also continue his travelling on a lucrative speaking tour through Middle East, Europe and United States. Chicago-based Embark LLC is one of the international public-relations firms trying to land Musharraf as a highly paid keynote speaker. According to Embark President David B. Wheeler, the speaking fee for Musharraf would be in the $150,000-200,000 range for a day plus jet and other V.I.P. arrangements on the ground.
Musharraf disclosed that he has planned to jump back into full time politics but not until he moves into his newly constructed house in Chak Shahzad in Rawalpindi/Islamabad as he does not want to misuse the army house for political purposes.
His speech at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel[when?] marked his first U.S. appearance since he left office last year, as he embarks on a international speaking tour. The former president of Pakistan pleaded for understanding in his country’s fight against terrorism, in a region deemed central to the outcome of that battle. “Pakistan has confronted terrorism and extremism for more than two decades now,” Pervez Musharraf said in a speech to about 500 people at the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan event.
Regarding the Lahore attack on SriLankan players, Musharraf criticized the police commandos’ inability to kill any of the gunmen, saying “If this was the elite force I would expect them to have shot down those people who attacked them, the reaction, their training should be on a level that if anyone shoots toward the company they are guarding, in less than three seconds they should shoot the man down.