CIVIL SOCIETY PAKISTAN

March 4, 2008

Musharraf standing on ‘exit door’: Aitzaz

Filed under: POST-ELECTIONS 2008 — civilsocietypakistan @ 2:41 pm
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THE NATION

MARCH 04, 2008

Amir Riaz 
LAHORE – Supreme Court Bar Association President and PPP bigwig Aitzaz Ahsan on Monday said that he would register criminal case against General(r) Pervez Musharraf, former prime minister Shaukat Aziz, caretaker PM Mohammadmian Soomro and other high officials for keeping Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and other judges along with their families in ‘illegal confinement’ for more than four months.
He expressed these views while addressing a press conference here at his residence a day after his release from four months detention which he termed as illegal.
“I am going to Ghari Khuda Baksh and then to Islamabad where I, in the capacity of SCBA president, would lodge an FIR with police station concerned for the registration of a case under section 109(abetment), 344 (wrongful confinement for more than 10 days), 348 (wrongful confinement for getting confession), 506(criminal intimidation) of Pakistan Penal code. Whereas Musharraf, Shaukat Aziz, Soomro, Interior minister, Home secretary, chief commissioner Islamabad, IGP SP, DSP and SHO would be nominated as accused in the FIR.”
He pointed out that these were cognisable offences and in a cognisable offence police can nab accused without having arrest warrants, adding that apparently General Musharraf had an immunity under article 248 of the constitution but the draft of FIRs would be prepared keeping in view of this fact.
“We know that to what extent he has got the immunity. We will not let him get way with the crime he has done”, defiant Aitzaz said.
He said the similar kind of applications would also be submitted against illegal detention of Justice Sardar Raza Khan, Justice Shakir Ullah Jan, Justice Falak Sher, Justice Khalil ur Rehman Ramady and Justice Raja Fiaz and their families.
He also said that the civil suits for the recovery of billion of rupees as damages would also be filed against the government officials for keeping judges and lawyers under illegal detention, adding that the money would not be recovered from national kitty but of their personal properties.
Responding to a question, he said the parliament had the right to validate Musharraf’s November 3 extra-constitutional steps as had happened at the time of passing LFO. He, however, added that it would not be possible this time because political parties have matured over the years and they know it would be complete disastrous for the country.
He said, “ Musharraf is standing on exit door. He is no longer an army chief and is a gone man. Parliament could impeach him for subverting the constitution and on the charges of detaining the judges and their families.”
He said it was shameful on the part of government that CJP’s father-in-law was humiliated for five hours before he was allowed to meet his son-in-law, daughter and grandchildren. It had never done in world history.
He made it clear that the lawyers did not want confrontation with parliament. They want to see a sovereign and stable parliament. But at the same time, he said, the parliament would not be given much time for judges’ restoration because it could be done in minutes. He hoped that the new parliament would come up to the expectations of people.
“You cannot construct a sovereign parliament on the debris of judicial structure,” he maintained.
“Interior Minister’s two minutes call could resolve the issue. He could order that all the hurdles and impediment in judges way to go their courtrooms be removed”, he said.
Aitzaz reiterated that the long march had not been called off, but merely delayed to give the new parliament time to restore the pre-November 3 judiciary. Instead, a “Black Flag” week will be held.
He said if the parliament failed to restore judges, long march would advance from all four corners of the country towards Islamabad. He said their long march would be against Pervez Musharraf and his cronies who helped him make judiciary subservient.
Answering a question, Aitzaz said that the lawyers did not recognise PCO judges and there were appearing before them only to counter the difficulties of poor litigants.
He announced that a Black Flag week to be observed from March 9 to 16 in token protest against the government. Aitzaz criticised curbs on media and ensured a large number of mediapersons for their full corporation.
Aitzaz Ahsan’s release has rejuvenated the legal community, who is hoping that further concessions will be made by the new parliament for the independence of the judiciary and restoration of the judges.
Aitzaz Ahsan left for Garhi Khuda Baksh to offer Fatiha at the grave of slain PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto.

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