3:50 pm - Saturday January 25, 2020

Musharaf,Ershad,Rommel, Bhutto and Narsimha Rao : A Tale of Five Trials

Musharaf,Ershad,Rommel, Bhutto and Narsimha Rao : A Tale of Five Trials

R.K.Upadhyay rp_RKU-263x300.jpg

Pakistan is wide split on the death sentence passed by a special court on Retd.General Musharaf for imposing emergency and arresting judges by suspending constitution . Army is issuing very thinly veiled dire threats by statements of its ISPR which interestingly claim absurdly that Gen Musharaf by virtue of being army chief and having fought wars cannot be a traitor and hence can not be punished under article six of Pakistan’s constitution . One judge made a mistake of writing that in case he dies abroad, Musharaf ‘s body should be brought to Pakistan and hanged in D Chowk for three days . It is a paragraph which has put civilians in defensive mode and given guilty army to go on offence .

Right in the beginning it must be admitted that Gen Musharaf , Nawaz and Zardari are all well respected in India as all three sincerely tried for a durable peace with India. Musharaf was more successful as Pakistan army gave him the longest rope by making LOC peaceful and stopping incursions by Mujahidins during  his tenure .Musharaf ‘s economic achievements are also regarded highly by those who matter. Musharaf ‘s Kargil misadventure was forgiven by Vajpayee when he realised that he could give lasting peace a chance . Yet the Indian public is not surprised or saddened by the court’s judgement about death sentence to Musharaf as it is essentially a legally sound judgement . Judges of special court have atoned the sins of judiciary in giving ‘Doctrine of Necessity” by Justice Munir , Judicial murder of Prime Minster , Z.A.Bhutto under pressure from Gen Zia . Even if Musharaf is not ultimately punished , the judgement  will go a long way in curbing Pak army’s habit of considering itself as a super ruler of Pakistan and establishing the writ of law  . However vain and revengeful army/ISI will trap the judges some day in cases the way it has done to Nawaz and Zardari strung by Zardari’s comment on Raheel Sharif and Nawaz insistence on civilian supremacy.

Let us first examine the claim of ISPR about a Gen Musharf can not be a traitor by virtue of having served army for forty years and having fought wars . In the old East Pakistan and now Bangladesh , the ex army chief General Ershad who came to power by a coup in 1982 and ruled for eight years , was imprisoned for the some criminal act for seven  years . Bangladesh is a far more progressive country today as its army does not meddle in politics any more and permits civilian government to pursue economic progress and secure the nation by having friendship with its neighbours . Similarly General Rommel in Germany was the most famous and popular General , known as desert fox . Unlike Gen Musharaf , he had actually fought and won many important  wars for Germany . Yet when he conspired against the government of Hitler he was given honorable death keeping in view his services to nation .

Pakistan had hung its most popular prime minister Bhutto in a sham trial due to pressure of Gen Zia ul Haq . So what is the noise about hanging an ex army chief for suspending constitution and arresting judges and imposing emergency ? In India Narsimha Rao , the man who turned Indian economy was tried for a similar open and shut case of bribing an MP for vote in a no confidence motion . No one claimed or was given immunity because of being an ex PM . Why should Pak army which has lost all wars since independence and sucked the nation of half of the vital economic resources ,claim any immunity from judicial review.

The clamour of biased judge for having recommending hanging of his corps in D Chowk , which is a sad and avoidable part of judgement , but is not very un islamic . President Zia introduced public floggings and informally permitted stoning of women in public for adultery under shariat laws. The ISPR should check how traitors are dealt in Islamic countries . Public hangings are so common in Iran . Dr. Najibubullah , ex president of Afghanistan, was brutally killed and hanged in public  by the subsequenr rulers of Afghanistan supported by Pakistan. The torture of Ali , son in law of prophet is so well known . So even if it is abhorrent in civil societies world over , the minority judge can not be accused of passing an un islamic order . najib public hanging

So basically it is a case of Pakistan army trying to subvert law again by defending its ex chief who subverted constitution so openly by first a coup and then by declaring emergency . That the ex chief did many commendable deeds is immaterial to the main argument of violating the constitution . He should live and die dishonorably abroad as the legal process will not be complete in his life time.

Indians are not general happy with the judgement because Gen Musharaf  does have many admirers here due to his extra ordinary peace initiative and hindus do not like killing their leaders . Irrespective of political differences , Dr Manmohan Singh and other ex Prime Ministers are very respected figures in India. Similarly Indians will prefer Muharaf  , Nawaz and Zardari be allowed to settle abroad and die  a peaceful natural death in the company of their relatives .

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