ISLAMABAD - Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), a treasury benches party, Thursday during the Senate session, criticised decision of the special court that handed down death sentence to former military ruler General (retd) Pervez Musharraf.

However, the opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) appreciated the verdict.

MQM Senator Barrister Muhammad Ali Khan Saif, taking part in the debate on the presidential address to the joint sitting of the parliament, regretted that Musharraf was wrongly being blamed for all troubles the country was facing including poor economy, political instability and internal and external issues, inside and outside the parliament.

“The decision of Justice Waqar Ahmed Seth will be written in a shameful manner and in shameful words on the grounds that he gave the decision without reading the Constitution and the verdicts of courts,” he said, adding that the courts had ruled that death sentence could not be given in such circumstances and in such a manner. “I want to remind those who are happy over the sentence that this would remain mere their wish as no one can punish Musharraf,” said Senator Saif, who was once a close aide to former military ruler.

During Senate session, Barrister Saif says if ruling is right then judges, people who endorsed military ruler’s decisions should also be tried

The MQM senator said that case against Musharraf was tried in political manner and if not, then those all judges and people should have been tried who had endorsed his decisions. He said politicians made compromises with Musharraf in the past and got benefits from him in the form of National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) and now they were criticising him. They actually wanted to criticize army but could not do so out of fear, he added.

He said these were the politicians who had supported Musharraf and the judiciary who had justified many of his steps including that of 12th October, 1999 military coup. “The history and facts have been distorted.”

The treasury lawmaker made his speech in a satirical mode and said that military generals were being blamed for those misadventures and mistakes that were actually made during civilian regimes. He reminded that politicians were severely victimized and many sent in jails and even killed during regime of then prime minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. “Bhutto had faced all these allegations and not the military,” he said.

He then condemned the superior judiciary for handing down death sentence to Bhutto and also said that many politicians got themselves nurtured in the nursery of military ruler Ziaul Haq. He also came down hard on Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) for allegedly attacking the Supreme Court building in 1997. He blamed PML-N for torturing journalists including Najam Sethi in the past and pointed out that it was not a dictatorial regime. He reminded the house that it was PML-N who made Ehtesab Commission that victimised its political opponents.

The Parliamentary Leader of PML-N in the Senate Senator Mushahidullah Khan in his speech appreciated the decision of special court and added: “Justice Seth gave a right decision… the decision would be written in golden words.” He regretted that Law Minister Faroogh Naseem used derogatory remarks against the judge who was also chief justice of the Peshawar High Court. “How this state could be run,” he said while questioning behaviour of the ruling party.

PML-N Senator underscored that it was then PM Nawaz Sharif who dared to initiate a case of high treason under Article 6 of the Constitution against Musharraf and that caused a decision against him. “If Musharraf had not succumbed to a single telephone call of former US Secretary of State Colin Powell, at least 70,000 Pakistanis including 60,000 civilians and 10,000 law enforcement personnel might not have sacrificed their lives in the war on terror,” he said. He said that former military ruler had only promised US to give it logistic support but then handed over two Pakistani airbases to it. He regretted that the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) that used to talk about building Pakistan on the pattern of state of Madinah was supporting Musharraf.

He also requested Senate Chairman Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani to order a commission to probe allegations levelled against two sitting judges and a former judge. A forum should at least settle whether these allegations against judges are right or wrong,” he said while naming Supreme Court judge Justice Qazi Faez Esa, Justice Waqar Ahmed Seth and former judge of the Islamabad High Court Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui.

The opposition lawmaker demanded that students and trade unions should be revived to stop entrance of corrupt elements and interest groups in politics. He also condemned the PTI government for his recent decision to pull out of Kuala Lumpur Summit. He concluded that what was happening in India because of controversial anti-Muslim citizenship law was shameful.