Chronological record of events, that validates President Musharraf’s election as President and subsequent endorsements by Supreme Court
1- On 13 May 2000, Pakistan’s 12 member Supreme Court unanimously validated the October 1999 coup and granted Musharraf executive and legislative authority for 3 years from the coup date. Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry was one of the judges that validated. (Link)
Further on 27 April 2002, the Supreme Court reaffirmed their judgment regarding 1999 Emergency, PCO No.1 of 1999 and Referundum – on basis of doctrine of state necessity. Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry was one of the nine judges that validated. (Link)
2- On 7 October 2002, the 5 member bench of Supreme Court validated LFO and amendments to constitution. Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry was one of the judges that validated. (Link)
3- On 29 Dec 2004, PML-Q government passed the 17th constitutional amendment bill in National Assembly, with 2/3 majority, also approved by Senate that allowed President Musharraf to hold dual offices. (Link)
4- 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.
5- On 13 April 2005, the 5 member bench of Supreme Court gave judgment in favor of 17th amendment and President’s uniform. Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry was one of the judges that validated. (Link)
6- On 28 September 2007, the Supreme Court cleared the way for President Pervez Musharraf to seek another five-year term, and stand for Presidential elections, when six of the nine judges, rejected a tangle of petitions against him and threw out a major legal challenge to his re-election plans. Presided by Justice Rana Bhagwandas. (Link)
7- President Musharraf was elected President of Pakistan, on 6th October 2007, by a combined electoral of the Senate, National Assembly and the FOUR Provincial Assembles.
8- President of Pakistan declared emergency on 3rd November 2007, as per Article 232 of the constitution.
9- The 10 member bench of Supreme Court (SC) on 24 November 2007 directed the chief election commissioner and the government to declare Pervez Musharraf president for a second term. (Link)
10- On 24 November 2007, the Pakistan Election Commission confirmed Musharraf’s re-election as President. (Link)
11- President Musharraf won by 58% votes, declared in November 2007, as the constitutional President of Pakistan!
12- On 28 November 2007, Musharraf relinquished the office of Chief of Armed Staff, as per November 2007 verdict of the Supreme Court.
13- On 15 Feb 2008, a detailed Supreme Court judgment came, following its earlier short pronouncement of 24 November 2007, validating the proclamation of emergency of 3rd Nov 2007, PCO 2007 and oath of the judges. This full court judgment was written by Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar. (Link)
These facts above raise serious questions regarding the credibility of those so-called political intellects and experts of judicial matters that appear on media talk shows, accusing President Musharraf of violating the constitution, thereby seeking to apply Article-6 on him. They do so, merely for publicity and self exposure, overlooking the role of the Judiciary all along and misguiding the public to zenith. They should know that the Parliament and the Supreme Court, has approved and endorsed every single decision taken by President Musharraf. President Musharraf – being the President of Pakistan was the rightful authority to sign amendments to the constitution, after being approved by the Senate.
Article 270-AA of the constitution gives full protection to the 17th amendment and the 1999 coup, which cannot be called into question in any court of the country on any ground what-so-ever. The 17th amendment was approved by the National Assembly by 2/3 majority and made into law, as part of the constitution.
Then, the Constitution (Amendment) Order, 1980, (P.O.No.1 of 1980) section 2 clauses (3A), (3B) and (3C) give full protection and immunity to Martial Law Regulation made by the Chief Martial Law Administrators, any sentence passed by a Military Court or Tribunal, Chief Martial Law Administrator or a Martial Law Administrator or any person acting under the authority of either, and cannot be called into question in any court.
Then, Article 248 clauses (1) (2) (3) (4) of the constitution, protects the President, and he shall not be answerable to any court for the exercise of powers and performance of functions of his respective office, no criminal proceedings whatsoever shall be instituted or continued against the President or a Governor in any court during his term of office and no process for the arrest or imprisonment of the President or a Governor shall issue from any court during his term of office.
Despite these above mentioned facts and articles as per the constitution, if those prejudiced intellects and revenge seeking politicians, call to apply Article-6 on President Musharraf, then they should know the article in full.
Article-6 clause (2): Any person aiding or abetting the acts mentioned in clause (1) shall likewise be guilty of high treason.
Which clearly indicates – that the Supreme Court and the Parliament itself that approved and endorsed the events from 1999 till 2007 shall be held equally responsible, for abetting, if a case ever arises. Yet, as Article-6 itself is NOT a self governing article, that could decide and instigate itself automatically, hence Article-6 provides a clause, leaving it to the supreme Parliament to decide, if and whenever, such a case arises and is brought to the attention of the Parliament.
Article-6 clause (3): [Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament)] shall by law provide for the punishment of persons found guilty of high treason.
Other than the supreme Parliament, no other institution can approve nor apply Article-6.
Afreen Baig is an independent analyst majoring in International Relations and Economics. She can be reached at email@example.com