The case of General (rtd) Musharraf coming back to Pakistan to appear before the court and contest the general elections has finally come to an end with the former premier deciding to not return to the country due to the fear of being arrested. The controversy around his return was becoming complex by the day as the courts were urging him to return to the country to be answerable for the allegations against him. Cases of treason are of utmost importance for a country because acts against a nation’s sovereignty are not.

General Musharraf was provided countless leverages by the state in the recent past to accommodate his return. A person who is failing to appear before the court does not have the space to have his diplomatic passport renewed but this favour was granted to him to make his travel plans more feasible. It would be a disservice to the institutions of Pakistan if the former premier accuses them of trying to sabotage his return. The state was also courteous in allowing him to file his nomination papers to contest the upcoming elections. This goes to show that the state is not ready to accuse a person of a crime unless proven guilty but it is the duty of a law-abiding citizen to appear before the court in order to prove his innocence.

The state and its institutions must be commended for trying to uphold the laws in place. There is no space for individuals in a democratic polity to surpass the law and be provided undue privileges. The Supreme Court (SC) is the highest court of Pakistan and disregarding the decisions of the highest court and accusing it of not providing ample time to make adjustments for the return shows the disregard for the judicial set up. This is exactly where the dictatorial streak is very evident and a trait which has no space in the current democratic set-up of Pakistan.

Pakistan welcomes people willing to serve the country but they need to be present in the country to provide their services and be accountable in the court of law. Joining the bandwagon of accountability has taken years and now that the process has been initiated, no one can go scot-free.