South Asia

I am not a traitor says Musharraf

After being indicted on five charges on Monday and pleading not guilty, former President General Pervez Musharraf said the decision to impose Emergency in 2007 was not his decision alone but that of the Prime Minister and the cabinet on the advice, consultation and consensus of all stake holders. There was no abrogation or subversion of the Constitution, he submitted.

Musharraf was permitted to address the court and reading out from notes, he said he held the court and the Constitution in high esteem and he was a strong believer in the supremacy and equality of the law.

He said a lot of aspersions were cast on him about his inhibitions in appearing in court. He said he had no such ego problems and he had appeared 16 times last year in various courts.

The security risk which was a real threat was the reason he wasn't coming to court and more than himself he was concerned about the people around him. He said his health was also an issue and the medical report was self explanatory.

He pointed out that he had come against medical advice and had to sign for the second time a certificate that he was leaving the hospital on his own risk.

He challenged the charge of high treason and said he was not a "gaddar" or a traitor. In his eight years of rule as President and over 40 years in the army he had fought two wars and he was ready to shed his blood and give his life for the country.

He had received a gallantry award for the 1965 war and spent day and night with jawans in Siachen and Kargil. Is all this treason? he asked and proceeded to outline his achievements while he headed the country.

From a state in default he had raised it to a level of progress and prosperity in every field. There was a lot of respect and honour for the country as a result and he said the treason charge is what he got for his loyalty.

A traitor is one who sells his country and who surrenders before the enemy. He said he was part of the Special Services Group where the motto is "ghazi ya shahid" (to be a warrior and survive or die a martyr). A traitor is one who loots his country and fills his own coffers and reduces the country to penury, he said.

He had not taken a single paisa for himself or accepted a bribe. He gave details of the progress in terms of debt, poverty alleviation, jobs, improvements in security apparatus, foreign exchange and said he could hold forth on various sectors of the economy.

He said judicial appointments were on merit and his tenure was better in every way than previous governments. He even said the development in Balochistan in terms of infrastructure was better than earlier and more funds were made available to that province than Punjab.

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Printable version | Jun 30, 2022 9:34:08 pm |