ISLAMABAD - The saga of charging former President General (Retd) Pervez Musharraf with high treason under Article 6 keeps haunting the Senate since it convened on Friday, just a day after former military ruler was rushed to a military hospital for an emergency ailment.

Musharraf’s high treason case was one of the major issues again echoed in the Upper House on Wednesday that largely discussed worsening law and order situation in the country, shifting of Afghan Transit Trade to Iran and alleged remarks of self exiled MQM Chief Altaf Hussain about division of Sindh province.

The statement of MQM chief Altaf Hussain that also keeps the house reverberating was in fact again evoked discussion on Pervez Musharraf but now as a Mohajir general.

Both the treasury and opposition members joined hands to fire their barrage of condemnations about the issue, while MQM senators spent all their energies on defending their chairman.

Musharraf who has been isolated after Arab rulers particularly the House of Saud publicly declined to mediate his safe exit from Pakistan is ostensibly drawing political support from his former ruling allies including MQM, PML-Q and JUI-F.

Members of these parties raised Musharraf’s high treason case in the Senate, but rallied no support to pressurise the government because of main opposition party PPP that, besides ANP and PTI, is strongly supporting trial of the former dictator.

Despite the fact the ruling PML-N seems quite relaxed over Musharraf’s fate parliamentary lobbies remain abuzz with speculation that the former military ruler would soon leave Pakistan for London on medical grounds through the courtesy of his personal connections in the Western capitals.

PML-N’s Senator, Mushahidullah Khan who lashed out at Senator Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain for his remarks about Musharraf’s trial the other day in the House registered his strong criticism against former Chief of Army Staff on Wednesday.

Rising on a point of order the Karachiite PML-N leader took serious exception of Altaf Hussain’s efforts to portray General Musharraf as Mohajir general.

He was of the view that MQM’s argument is false and can not justify because generals in Pakistan Army do not represent any clan, tribe or sect, but are true representatives of entire nation; hence they should not be labelled as Mohajirs etc.

“And why didn’t Altaf speak in favour of this very Mohajir general (Mush) when Mush was busy victimising yet another such Mohajir, nuclear scientist and hero of Pakistan, Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, and during the bloody Lal Masjid episode?” he asked. 

Expressing himself, PPP Senator Mukhtar Ahmad Dhamra said that nation’s chagrin over Altaf Hussain’s statement was a genuine reaction to divisive notion of ‘Sindh No.1 and Sindh No.2’, since no one believed in such logic.

“Such kinds of statements based on ‘basic rights and discrimination’ were totally unacceptable, since these widened the gulf between sects, clans, tribes, Nation etc.” he cautioned; adding, “It was the dire need of the hour that all polity fostered close and mutual harmony, rather than widening differences to point-of-no-returns”.

He also rejected the notion of discrimination and sense of deprivation for Urdu-speaking community, citing the current posts of Sindh Governor, President of Pakistan, and Sindh Assembly’s deputy speaker being from Urdu-Speaking, community.

MQM’s senator Col (Retd) Tahir Mashadi in a rejoinder said that all communities living in Sindh were sons of Sindh soil, and denied any reference to bifurcation of Sindh.

“Actually Altaf Bhai (brother) just referred to equal disbursement of provincial resources and rights among all communities of Sindh, in order to avoid any sense of deprivation,” he ‘clarified’.

Earlier, State Minister for Interior Balighur Rehman while winding debate on law and order in the country, informed the House about the government’s steps in addressing deep rooted issues of terrorism‚ extremism and sectarianism.

The minister noted with satisfaction that overall situation remained satisfactory during the month of Muharram except Rawalpindi incident.

He said action against the guilty would be taken after the inquiry into Rawalpindi incident is completed.

He said steps are also being taken to improve law and order situation in Balochistan. The government is working on legislation to address the issue of missing persons.

The minister of state said the government after consultation with the political parties decided for dialogue with Taliban and use of force was kept as second option. Unfortunately the US drone attack sabotaged the process.

He said the government has again started the dialogue process with Taliban. Balighur Rehman said the government cleared the backlog of passports in record time.

He said there is complete ban on the issue of new arms licences while old licences are being computerised. Reforms are also being done in jails of the country. He said the government is working on National Security Policy and the draft has been prepared and submitted to the cabinet for approval. The House was adjourned till Friday.