ISLAMABAD -

Bailing out military establishment from Musharraf’s episode, a former general, considered to be the right-hand man of ex-president, has denied any official contact with army regarding prevailing scenario involving arrest and trial of General (Retd) Pervez Musharraf in different cases.

Senior Vice President of All Pakistan Muslim League (APML), Major General (Retd) Rashid Qureshi Monday said, “Neither any official contact was made to military from us on the issue of Musharraf nor they (army) contacted us.” He was addressing a press conference along with APML’s Secretary General Dr Amjad and Central Information Secretary Asia Ishaq at party’s central office. He stressed that APML had neither approached army on the issue nor they would ever do this.

However, Qureshi said all institutions were watching the whole situation keenly, adding any former army chief always enjoys personal contacts in the army. “I have served in the army around 36 years in different parts of the country and I have served with a number of serving military officers, some of were my instructors and vice versa and a number of them have served under my command,” said former Director General (DG) of military’s Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) and spokesman to then President Pervez Musharraf.

However, he ruled out any possibility of any revolt in the army on the issue of Musharraf and said army was a disciplined force and it would always do what would be in the best interests of the country. He alleged that an activism had started either from the judges or the lawyers and they believed that a draft had already been written.

Earlier Musharraf’s counsel Ahmed Raza Qasuri said quite a number of times in recent days that army is watching the situation and may react to humiliation meted out to its former boss.

On issue of Lal Mosque operation, Qureshi said the Judicial Commission on Lal Mosque had endorsed their viewpoint that 102 casualties occurred during the operation though family of Maulana Abdul Aziz, former chief cleric of the mosque, had been claiming hundred of deaths. “And among them, 11 were army officials who were killed with shots of sniper rifles and no one can do it without trained terrorists,” he said. He said people would also know how Nawab Akbar Bugti was killed.

Information Secretary APML, Asia Ishaq on the occasion said that Musharraf was being subjected with judicial terrorism and was a victim. “The credentials of IHC (Islamabad High Court) Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddique, who rejected bail of Musharraf, are extremely suspicious as he had been the counsel of Maulana Abdul Aziz and Rana Faqir, an accused of two suicide attacks on Musharraf. Moreover, Justice Siddique had also been a counsel in missing persons case in 2007 against Pakistan army,” she informed. He was also a contestant in NA-54 on Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) ticket and also represented different terrorists in cases and was made judge, she deplored. “We have the right to go to the Supreme Court,” she said, adding that ATC (anti-terrorism court) Judge Kausar Abbas Zaidi was the brother of Capt (Retd) Mansur Zaidi who was court-martialled by Musharraf.

Dr Amjad warned the lawyers, what he called them 111 brigade, to abstain from using tactics of violence against the workers of his party during former President’s appearance in different courts and especially on Tuesday during Musharraf’s appearance in a Rawalpindi court in connection with trial of Benazir Bhutto case. “We condemn action of lawyers and protest this,” he added. He said that lawyers wanted to make Musharraf vulnerable to security threats because former President Islamabad High Court Bar Association (IHCBA) Ashraf Gujjar had filed an application before the court to send him to Adiala Jail. The lawyers are humiliating Musharraf and it is not the humiliation of a single person or former chief of army staff (COAS) but an institution as well. He warned that army could react on this situation. He alleged that lawyers were terrorising them with the alleged connivance of bar and bench.

“Tuesday would be the last chance for them otherwise we will move the SC for the registration of FIRs against them and use all resources to block them,” he said.

He said Musharraf did not flee the court rather they gave him safe passage for fear of violence from lawyers. “A local politician, an international politician and foreign agencies want clash between judiciary and army on Musharraf issue and this could affect the election process,” he added.

He also said that clause 7 of Anti-terrorism Act was illegally included in the FIR against Musharraf and they would challenge this decision of the court before the Supreme Court. He alleged that a case of high treason against former president was sent to the bench for hearing that included two judges who were always assigned important cases like Dr Arslan Iftikhar, Bahria Town etc.

Amjad said that Islamabad administration had not been changed like other provinces and added: “Our posters are being torn, we are being threatened to either leave party or close down offices.” He also showed some pictures of students of Jamia Hafsa tearing posters of APML. “The central executive committee of the party will meet on Tuesday at 5:00pm to decide its next action plan,” he said, adding that legal team of Musharraf was not being allowed to meet him in the sub-jail despite SC orders.

“Some 148 candidates for National Assembly and 292 from provincial assemblies were contesting elections on APML tickets; however, what would be the fate of the party when it president would be in jail,” he questioned.