ISLAMABAD: Responding to General (retd) Musharraf’s statement that the whole army was upset and stands behind him in his high treason case, the government spokesman and Information Minister Pervez Rashid has termed it the former dictator’s latest bluff.
The minister said that Musharraf should at least now stop embarrassing Pakistan Army, which, he insists is a respected state institution. It is a national army and not the fiefdom of any individual.
Some top retired army Generals including General (R) Aslam Beg, Lt Gen (R) Hamid Gul, Lt Gen (R) Ali Kuli Khan and Lt Gen (R) Shahid Aziz have also rejected Musharraf’s latest bluff and said that it is wrong to say that Army is upset and sides with Musharraf in this trial.
Former military ruler Pervez Musharraf on Sunday denounced treason charges against him as a “vendetta”, and said he had the backing of the country’s powerful army in the case.“I would say the whole army is upset. I have led the army from the front,” Musharraf told reporters, adding, “I have no doubt with the feedback that I received that the whole army is totally with me on this issue.”
When approached the Information Minister Pervez Rashid told The News that Musharraf is bluffing. Rashid said that no one has any objection to the upholding of the rule of law. He said that in Musharraf’s case, the law is taking its course and the former dictator has the right to defend himself before the judiciary whose independence could not be questioned.
Rashid lamented that Musharraf, who during his rule had hurt the institution of army besides badly hurting Pakistan, is now again trying to embarrass the state institution. “Our army is a state institution and the national Army. It is not the property or personal fiefdom of any individual,” he said.
He reminded that Musharraf had hurt the institution of army so badly during his rule that the army officers were formally instructed not to wear uniform in public places. After Musharraf’s departure, he said, the esteem and respect of the Army has revived but the former dictator now again wants to drag the institution in controversies.
In Musharraf’s case, he said the law is taking its course. He said the government had initially referred the high treason case against Musharraf to the FIA following the direction of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. He said that now Musharraf’s case is before the independent judiciary. “Musharraf has though denied justice to his opponents; he has the right to defend his position before the independent judiciary.”
Lt Gen (R) Hamid Gul when approached rejected Musharraf’s assertion. He said that neither the present military leadership not the ex-servicemen own Musharraf’s statement. He advised Musharraf not to drag the institution of Army in his personal affairs. He said that the military men are instead upset with Musharraf because of his misadventures include Kargil.
General (R) Aslam Beg in a statement rejected the impression that the army is upset over Musharraf’s trial. He said that objections are, however, being raised as to why only Musharraf is being tried. Beg said that those who had subverted the Constitution in the past should also be tried.
Lt Gen (R) Shahid Aziz, who was Chief of General Staff under Musharraf, when approached also rejected Musharraf’s statement and said there is no such thing that the whole Army is upset over Musharraf’s trial. He said that no one could be upset as the case is being heard by the independent judiciary.
Meanwhile the two associations of ex-servicemen on Monday also rejected Musharraf’s claim that whole Army was upset with the treason allegations against him and that the Army is totally with him on this issue.
A joint statement issued by President Pakistan Ex-Servicemen Society (PESS) Lt Gen Hamid Gul (R), and President Pakistan Ex-Servicemen Association Lt Gen Ali Kuli Khan (R) said that army has nothing to do with the declaration of emergency by him.
Taking serious exception to the statement by Musharraf, the former generals said that he seems to be trying to implicate the Army as abettor of the alleged offence which was violation of Article 6 of the Constitution.
“Members of PESS and PESA consider declaration of emergency and sacking of judges as his personal acts,” the statement said.Musharraf’s claim that the action was taken by the Cabinet also makes reference to the Army irrelevant.The ex-servicemen were of the view that the best course for him would be to follow the law and let judiciary decide the case on merit. Via: Thenews
Urdu Via Daily Jang Newspaper