PML-Q leader Chaudhry Shujaat’s argument whereby he has cautioned against pursuing the treason case against General Musharraf over the reason that it would set off a chain of events that would hurtle out of control relies on appeal to force. Without any fear or favour, it should be an open trial and all those found involved should be thrown behind bars, even if there are other members of his former regime, and for some are too holy and of high rank to be put on trial. So at the end of the day, the case against Musharraf should not be quashed only because there are other untouchables who would be brought to the dock or worse the image of some institution would be tarnished.

Fallacious reasoning by Mr Shujaat has been contended before in similar circumstances; their essence, however, has always been based on the inequalities found in an authoritarian world. Such admonitions were heard in the aftermath of the Asghar Khan case where among others, a former military chief was found involved in doling out funds to political parties. The quarters that Mr Shujaat is hinting at, from where this chain of events or consequences could swirl, is hence quite apparent. Is this not the Jackboot that the countrymen and the judiciary in particular aware of, that have always relied on a truckload of commandoes to have their way. What would they do, this time around if the General is put to trial in an impartial manner? And to make matters worse, the former President in his statement to the Court on Sunday threw up a red herring. It was with consultation with members of junta that the November 3 emergency was declared, he stated. Since, ‘consultations process’, implies there are other individuals involved as well explains why Mr Shujaat is so worried over the possibility of a ‘can of worms’ opening up, if the case is pursued.

These arguments do not have a leg to stand on. The case of the general should be pursued in accordance with law. And people of Mr Shujaat’s stature could do well to avoid playing to the gallery. Everyone who is involved, however sacrosanct should be made to answer for their deeds.