ISLAMABAD - The prosecution, which is the federation, losing interest to pursue the high treason case against General (retd) Pervez Musharraf as since December 24, 2014 till June the case was fixed before Special Court five times but adjourned without proceeding.

In each hearing the senior counsels of the prosecution side did not appear, while in the last two hearings the Registrar of the Special Court announced the adjournment of the case till next date. One of the prosecutors has told The Nation that since Islamabad High Court has granted stay against the proceeding of Special Court, therefore, there is no need of appearing before the court.

However, a division bench of IHC comprising Justice Noor-ul-Haq N Qureshi and Justice Aamir Farooq on July 8 hearing former President of Lahore High Court Bar Association, Rawalpindi bench, Taufiq Asif’s petition, made it clear that the court had not restrained the Special Court from proceedings against Musharraf in the high treason case. The high court further observed it (Special Court) can start the proceedings against Musharraf in high treason case and adjourned the hearing till last week of September.

Islamabad High Court on 23rd December 2014 had halted the proceedings in high treason case on the writ petitions of ex-PM Shaukat Aziz, former law minister Zahid Hamid and Justice (retd) Abdul Hameed Dogar. Since then the Special Court did not hold any proceeding.

The order passed by Justice Minhallah said: “In the circumstance, it would be futile to proceed against General (retd) Pervez Musharraf alone, therefore, in order to meet the ends of justice, the Special Court may suspend its proceedings till the final adjudication of the present petitions.”

The division bench of IHC in its short order said: “As no stay has been granted, therefore, it is the prerogative of the Special Court to continue the trial of Musharraf.”

The Special Court conduct on 21st November 2014 had directed the federal government to submit amended or additional statement and the formal charges of ex-PM Shaukat Aziz, former law minister Zahid Hamid and Justice (retd) Abdul Hameed Dogar as co-accused in the high treason trial within a fortnight.

The role of ex-PM and former law minister falls within the ambit of the third charge, listed in Statement of Charges filed by the federation, as according to the summary dated 3rd November 2007 they sat down on that very evening to process the removal of the then serving CJP (Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry) and appointment of his successor, the judgment added.

The legal gurus are of the opinion that the federal government, which is the prosecution in this case, had to challenge the IHC verdict in the Supreme Court, but it seemed that it was not interested in the high treason trial due to various considerations. A senior lawyer shared that there was no harm to order the Federal Investigation Agency to investigate former Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, ex-law minister Zahid Hamid and Justice (retd) Hameed Dogar.

Ikram Chaudhry, one of the members of the prosecution team, stated that there is no much delay.

He said one way or the other the matter has to be decided. He said that Supreme Court on the application of Taufiq Asif had issued order to the IHC to decide about the writ petitions soon.

A two-member bench of Supreme Court, comprising Justice Ijaz Chaudhry and Justice Mushir Alam, on the petition of Taufiq Asif, former President Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA), Rawalpindi bench, on May 7, 2005 had ordered the Islamabad High Court to decide the matter within 30 days.

Taufiq Asif had challenged the IHC verdict to stop the high treason case against the former military dictator in the Special Court.

Taufiq Asif, in his application before the Supreme Court, contended that the IHC had no jurisdiction to halt the high treason proceedings and prayed to the apex court to declare the IHC order null and void so that Musharraf trial could resume in the Special Court.

Ahmed Raza Kasuri, one of the defence counsels in the high treason case, told The Nation that the government will not try Musharraf as no army man can be traitor. “It was government mistake to initiate high treason case against Pervez Musharraf under Article 6 of constitution,” he added.