Pak Army, judiciary friction on Musharraf death sentence

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BY AARTI TIKOO SINGH
New Delhi, Dec 19 (IANS)
The tension between the military and judiciary in Pakistan has aggravated as the grotesque nature of the death sentence issued by a special court to former Army Chief and President Pervez Musharraf came to light.
Pakistan’s former military dictator Musharraf was tried for high treason for imposing emergency and dismantling the country’s judicial system.
The verdict, a scanned copy of which IANS accessed, said if Musharraf was found dead, his corpse should be dragged to a famous crossing in Islamabad and hanged for public view for three days.
The order issued by the special court of Islamabad in the case of the federal government versus General Pervez Musharraf said, “We direct the law enforcement agencies to strive their level best to apprehend the fugitive or convict and to ensure that the punishment is inflicted as per law and if found dead, his corpse be dragged to the D-Chowk, Islamabad, Pakistan and be hanged for three days.”
This was listed at point number 66 of the order which ran into dozens of pages. Musharraf according to the court was found guilty as per charges and given death sentence with “hanging by his neck till he dies on each count as per charge.”
The order further said, “Indeed this portion of the judgment and execution of the sentence is nowhere defined but since its first impression case and the sentence of death is announced in his absence after declaring the convict as proclaimed offender, therefore the sentence is supposed to be executed and in case of his death, a question would arise as to the mode of executing.”
In 2007, then President Musharraf dismissed the then Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, following which a countrywide lawyers’ agitation became a major reason for Musharraf’s ouster.

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