Islamabad / The armed forces of Pakistan said on Tuesday that due legal process had not been followed in the court judgment announced earlier in the day that sentenced former president and military ruler Pervez Musharraf to death.
“The due legal process seems to have been ignored including constitution of special court, denial of fundamental right of self defense, undertaking individual specific proceedings and concluding the case in haste,” the office of the director general of Inter-Services Public Relations – the military’s communication wing – said in a statement.
The statement hailed Musharraf’s military service, saying he was someone who had “served the country for over 40 years, fought wars for the defense of the country can surely never be a traitor.”
The military said the verdict had been received by “pain and anguish” by the “rank and file of Pakistan Armed Forces,” adding that they expected that “justice will be dispensed in line with Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan.”
The former dictator was sentenced to death in absentia for suspending constitutional order and imposing a state of emergency between 3 November – 15 December 2007, his lawyer Azhar Siddique told EFE.
This is the first time in Pakistan’s 72-year-long history that a military ruler has been sentenced for his actions.
Musharraf, 76, has been living in Dubai since March 2016 when he was allowed to leave the country for medical treatment after a three-year travel ban imposed by the government was lifted by the Supreme Court.
The general had seized power in 1999 by ousting then-prime minister Nawaz Sharif in a military coup and served as president from 2001-2008 until he was forced to step down, and then fled to London.
Musharraf is also facing other legal cases, including being part of the conspiracy to assassinate former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, who was killed in a bomb attack in 2007.
Since its independence in 1947, Pakistan has witnessed three coups and been governed by four military dictators, with the first strongman grabbing power in 1958.
Even when it does not hold power directly, the military wields significant control over the country’s foreign policy and security. (December 17, 2019, EFE/EPA/Practica Español)