The hottest topic in media is the trial of Musharraf these days. Pick up any daily or change any TV channel, one is bound to find a mention of it one way or the other. The latest is the FIR against him for illegally detaining 60 judges along with their families in their houses for more than five months. One wonders why none of the lordships (and who could know law better than them?) lodge any habeas corpus petition against their unlawful detention? Anyway, legalities apart, there is a strong general perception amongst the masses - both literate and illiterate - that the trial owes its hype to either the vendetta and politics of revenge or for a desire to divert attention of the masses from their more pressing issues of poverty, inflation, unemployment, load shedding etc. Perhaps, it reflects a genuine desire to punish an usurper so that it is a deterrent for any future Bonaparte. If it is contrived for the first two reasons, then it is malafide and unacceptable. But, if its purpose is to strengthen democracy and democratic institutions, then it is another matter. Having said that, I wonder whether such a trial, if it at all takes place, would really thwart a future military intervention? After all, wasn't Article 6 there at the time of Zia's takeover? -COL (Retd) RIAZ JAFRI, Rawalpindi, via e-mail, August 12.