KARACHI      -     Political parties and members of what they termed civil society on Wednesday came in support of the former military ruler General (r) Pervez Musharraf, who was awarded death sentence in a high treason case by a special court.

The provincial leadership of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf held a presser to condemn the sentencing from the special court while All Pakistan Muslim League and other civil society groups held a protest outside the Karachi Press Club.

PTI Sindh leader and the leader of parliamentary party Haleem Adil Sheikh said that our sacred institutions should not be maligned in the pretext of court verdict against General (retd) Pervez Musharraf.

Addressing the presser, he said they could have several differences with Musharraf, but it was a fact that he was the chief of army staff, as well as the president of Pakistan.

He said after the court verdict of the previous day there was sense of unrest and discomfort among people of the country.

He said that India was not even that happy on October 12, when Nawaz Sharif had diverted the airplane of General Musharraf to India. He said our enemies are happy because our institutions are being targeted.

The PTI leader said as a political worker and leader they would never support any dictator and allow anyone to break the constitution. “We will never support anyone to derail democracy, but law, justice and constitution should be equal for all.”

He said on one hand Nawaz Sharif is allowed to go to London on pretext of illness, and on the other hand a man who is seriously ill is asked to travel and record his statement. He said Nawaz Sharif was a convict but still allowed to travel abroad.

He asked why the cases of Ishaq Dar, Husain and Hassan Nawaz were not being tried in absentia.

He said Musharraf was convicted under Article 6. He was not given opportunity to record his statement or have a lawyer. He said law should be equal for all.

“We are not workers of Musharraf party, but we will speak on the basis of principles,” said the PTI leader adding that weakening the position of army would destabilise the country like Iraq, Libya and other such similar countries.

The All Pakistan Muslim League also staged protest in front of the Karachi Press Club along with members of civil society, who once remained part of a banned religious group.

The participants raised slogans in favour of the former military ruler and expressed their dissent over the court order declaring a former military leader as a traitor.

APML General Secretary Aslam said that the party leader, who also held the reigns of the country in past as a military ruler, was only targeted for serving the nation.

He asked as to why no action was taken against the corrupt political leadership for looting the country and only loyal people had to face the consequences.

“We will resist this decision aimed at maligning the armed forces at every level,” he announced.

Meanwhile, Jamiat Ahle Hadees Pakistan has welcomed the decision against the former military ruler and demanded to bring him back to face the court decision. The top party leader Moulana Mohammad Yousuf Salfi also asked that the decision should be implemented so that no one could dare to subvert the constitution again.