LAHORE - Activists of various non-government organisations on Thursday held rallies to express solidarity with the armed forces of Pakistan and the former president, General (r) Pervez Musharraf.

The Peace for Life Welfare Foundation (PLWF) staged a demonstration to express solidarity with Musharraf and the Pakistan Army. Activists of PLWF gathered on GT Road and raised slogans in favour Musharraf. They reacted angrily to the court verdict awarding death sentence to Musharraf.

The participants said that Musharraf could not be called a traitor because he took part in wars against India.

Also, activists of the Awami Rickshaw Union and Awami Pasban took out a rally outside the Lahore Press Club on Thursday. They chanted slogans against India over continued curfew in the Indian-held Kashmir and lodged a strong protest against apathy of the world community towards the Indian atrocities against the innocent Kashmiris. They were holding placards expressing solidarity with armed forces of Pakistan.  They also lodged a protest against export of onions to India through the Wagah Border Crossing.

Earlier this week, in an unprecedented decision a Special Court handed capital punishment to former president Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf in a high treason case for imposing a state of emergency in 2007.

“We have found guilty of him under Article 6 of the Constitution and therefore awarded death sentence,” read the short version of the 2-1 split decision of the three-judge court.

The judgement could be appealed against in the Supreme Court and if the top court upholds the special court’s verdict, the president possesses the constitutional authority under Article 45 to pardon a death row defendant. A day after the verdict, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that clash among state institutions was not in interest of the country.

Addressing the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)’s Core Committee, the premier said government believed in supremacy of constitution and law, the official party sources said.

The premier further said state institutions should perform their responsibilities while remaining within their constitutional and legal limits.

Expressing grave concern over the verdict against him in the high treason case, former President and Army Chief General (r) Pervez Musharraf on Wednesday said that he was denied the fundamental right of self-defence in the case.

Terming the verdict skeptical, Pervez Musharraf said that he was not given a chance to record his testimony before the probe committee and the special commission. Musharraf issued a video statement from his hospital bed in Dubai, blasting the death sentence given to him by the special court.

The former military ruler has termed the decision “questionable”, saying it was based on “personal vendetta”.

In the video message aired on private TV channel yesterday night, Musharraf said supremacy of the law was not taken into consideration in the case.

Musharraf said he was being victimised. The former army chief reiterated his trust in Pakistan’s judiciary, hoping that they will do justice with him and uphold the rule of law.