RAWALPINDI: Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, the director general of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), addressed a short press conference on Thursday evening, in which he made clear the army’s stance on the judgement in the high treason case against former army chief Gen Pervez Musharraf.
The presser came hours after the detailed verdict in the high treason case was released.
Maj Gen Ghafoor began by saying that the military had expressed its reservations after former military ruler retired Gen Pervez Musharraf was sentenced to death by a special court for high treason on December 17. He said after today’s detailed judgement in the case against Musharraf, “those reservations stand true”.
He said the verdict issued today, especially the words used in the written order “surpasses humanity, religion, culture and any other values”.
“We are under oath always to safeguard the country’s interests. And we have proven this in the past with the support of the nation.
“I have spoken on the nature and character of war […] and that we are facing a hybrid war. We are aware of the changing nature of war.”
A special court in Islamabad on Tuesday had found Musharraf guilty of high treason and handed him a death sentence under Article 6 of the Constitution, marking the first time in Pakistan’s history that a military chief was declared guilty of high treason and handed a death sentence.
The army had stood by Musharraf, with Maj Gen Ghafoor, in a statement, saying that the “decision given by special court has been received with [a] lot of pain and anguish by rank and file of Pakistan Armed Forces”.
“An ex-Army Chief, Chairman Joint Chief of Staff Committee and President of Pakistan, who has served the country for over 40 years, fought wars for the defence of the country can surely never be a traitor,” said the ISPR statement. “The due legal process seems to have been ignored including the constitution of special court, denial of the fundamental right of self-defence, undertaking individual specific proceedings and concluding the case in haste.
“Armed Forces of Pakistan expect that justice will be dispensed in line with Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan,” he said.
The PTI-led government had termed the high treason trial against Musharraf “unfair”. “I will defend the law in the case but not any individual,” said Attorney General Anwar Mansoor in a late-night joint press conference on the day of the verdict.
The former military chief is currently in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. He was admitted to a hospital following deterioration of his health earlier this month. The former military dictator broke his silence on Wednesday evening and expressed his gratitude to the armed forces and the people of Pakistan for “remembering his services” for the nation.
In a video that showed him lying on a medical bed, Musharraf also said that he would decide his future course of action after consulting his legal team.
“I have faith in Pakistan’s judiciary that they will provide me justice and keep in view the supremacy of law,” he said.