Musharraf to file intra-court appeal with IHC

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ISLAMABAD: Though the special court constituted for the ‘high treason’ trial of former president Pervez Musharraf has fixed January 1 for his indictment, the former military ruler is still seeking remedy from the Islamabad High Court (IHC) against the case. Justice Riaz Ahmed Khan of the IHC on December 23 dismissed his three petitions against the establishment of the special court, appointment of its judges as well as Akram Sheikh as head of the prosecution team. However, Gen Musharraf has decided to file an intra-court appeal (ICA) with a two-member division bench of the IHC.

Advocate Faisal Hussain, one of the counsel for Gen Musharraf, told Dawn that his client had given the go-ahead to the legal team for filing the ICA against the rejection of the petitions. The ICA will be filed on Thursday or by the end of this week, he added.

“It is the right of Gen Musharraf as well as any other citizen to seek available remedies provided in the law and the constitution through the courts.

“If a citizen is not given relief through a constitutional petition, what is the other way to agitate his grievances,” he added.

Gen Musharraf in the petitions contended that the IHC single bench did not comprehend the gravity of the matter where the petitioner only sought his fair trial which was his fundamental right given in the constitution.

The petitions stated that Musharraf gave his best to the country. He fought with utmost courage in the 1965 and 1971 wars and was promoted to the higher ranks.

Recollecting the events of the bloodless coup, Musharraf stated: “In October 1999, the petitioner left for an official visit to Colombo, Sri Lanka, in order to represent Pakistan Army in the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Sri Lanka army.

“On October 12, 1999, while he was flying back to Pakistan after performing his state duty, he was deprived of his ranks and General Khwaja Ziauddin was appointed as the chief of the army staff.”

The pilot of the aircraft was “compelled either to land in India or get crashed in the air due to lack of fuel.

In short, the manner of removal of his ranks was not only unethical and against the norms but also in violation of the Army Rules.”

It alleged that prime minister Nawaz Sharif and former chief justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry were inimical to Gen Musharraf as in October 1999 he had made the coup against Mr Sharif and in March 2007 he had suspended Justice Chaudhry.

It claimed that the establishment of the special court and the appointment of its judges as well as the lead prosecutor Akram Sheikh were made in violation of the prevailing law, rules and the dictum laid down by the Supreme Court in its landmark judgments.