Judge Aftab Ahmed Lone announced the decision after accepting a request by Mr Musharraf, the prime accused in the case. Mr Musharraf had sought exemption from appearance in hearing of the case.

Additional Attorney General Afnan Kundi said the federal government is willing to investigate aiders and abettors in the case as earlier no investigation has taken place in this regard.

ISLAMABAD: The federal government on Tuesday came forward with a proposal saying it was ready to initiate investigation against aiders and abettors in the treason case pending against former president General (retired) Pervez Musharraf.

Speaking at the Islamabad High Court (IHC), Additional Attorney General Afnan Kundi said the federal government is willing to investigate aiders and abettors in the case as earlier no investigation has taken place in this regard. He added the government will provide complete opportunity to the alleged abettors and aiders for clarifying their position as they were not summoned earlier by the special court hearing the treason case against the former army chief and president.

The proposal was presented before Justice Athar Minallah who was hearing the writ petitions of former federal minister for science & technology Zahid Hamid who was Musharraf’s law minister in 2007, former chief justice of Pakistan Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar and former premier Shaukat Aziz.

All the three had challenged the special court’s November 21 order where it had directed the federal government to include more names as abettors in Musharraf’s act of imposing emergency.

Following the proposal, Musharraf’s counsel Naseem Farogh requested the court to suspend the treason trial till the federal government completes investigation against the abettors.

“Arguments can be raised before the tribunal [special court]. This court cannot suspend the trial in which charges have already been framed,” remarked Minallah.

Farogh argued that Musharraf did everything on the advice of the then prime minister, adding that the then PM and cabinet should be investigated and a case should be made against Musharraf if anything comes out of it.

The FIA should investigate Aziz as whatever Musharraf did was on his advice and the then cabinet, said Farogh, adding that all those who met Musharraf before the emergency was imposed should also be listed.

At this point, Minallah said shouldn’t the case be sent to the special court following the federal government’s stance.

“Much water has flown under the bridge,” replied Farogh. Investigations should be conducted against the abettors, he added.

Another petition has been filed by former president of the Rawalpindi High Court Bar Association challenging the order in another pretext saying the trial of Musharraf may be separated from the trial of others accused as a joint trial would delay adjudication.

The Supreme Court has given the IHC a month to conclude hearing of petitions against its earlier judgment that barred the special court from proceeding against the former president in the high treason case.

On previous hearing, the federal government had told the court that the special court’s November 21 order was ‘patently illegal’ as the special court had no jurisdiction for including names of the co-accused especially when the prosecution had completed and closed its evidence.

Following the arguments, the court directed the counsels to assist the court on the proposal of the federal government next Tuesday. The case will be taken up on May 26.

Source/ credit: Published in The Express Tribune, May 20th, 2015. 

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