The former Chief of the Army Staff, Chief Executive and President of Pakistan finds himself embroiled in frivolous cases which should never have been filed to start with. His non-bailable arrest warrants were issued yesterday by a district and sessions judge in Islamabad in a murder case was registered against him in connection with the killing of the cleric Abdul Rasheed of the infamous Lal Masjid. The cleric died while resisting the Pakistani Armed forces which were called to act by the then competent authorities and happens to be the first such action broadcast live on the media. The people remember explicitly that the inhabitants of Lal Masjid and its associated madrassa were given an unconditional chance to quit the premises before the action was launched. The cleric’s own real brother, while trying to escape wearing a burqa, was caught and subsequently freed for unknown reasons to take over the Lal Masjid and restart his activities in the same premises.

Each and every person who is aware of the extremist viewpoint of the Lal Masjid clerics knows that they have been spreading fanaticism and challenging the authority of the state in public. They did not leave any space for the authorities to act except launching a very carefully planned attack on the seminary. If Musharraf is to go down, should it be for this?

The current political government must revisit the narrative against violent radicalism and evaluate the merits of the case in its true perspective. While doing this, they should remember that the leftovers in the premises of the Lal Masjid fiercely resisted the Pakistani military with all kinds of weapons in full public view through the media. The pursuit of only the Chief of the Army Staff raises many questions in the backdrop of the current stance of the state against the terrorists. The political leaders should remember that the soldiers and officers of the military forces laid their lives in their attempt to rid the premises of the terrorists. Surprisingly, no criminal or treason case in this regard has yet been launched against these clerics. The authorities and their think tanks need to understand that we have to modify the narrative of Jihad as per the current policy of the government. Such cases against Pervez Musharraf have been launched with malicious intentions and customary vengence, rather than for purposes of true justice for the acts of the former dictator. By cornering Musharraf in this particular case, they are openly negating the objectives of Operation Zarb-e-Azb which is being supported unambiguously by the Pakistanis as well as the international leadership.