ISLAMABAD - Undeterred by the ‘revelations’ of ex-President General (r) Pervez Musharraf legal team that the judges and lawyers are on the hit list of terrorists, the Special Court Wednesday showed determination to continue hearing former dictator’s high treason case.
The defence counsels Anwar Mansoor, Rana Ejaz and Ahmed Raza Kasuri during the proceeding tried to scare the judges saying that the March 3rd attack at Islamabad District Courts shows that terrorists could launch such attack at the Special Court as well. They said the terrorists could enter the court premises in the uniform of Rangers, police or lawyers.
Justice Faisal Arab, who was heading the three-judge Special Court, said: “Even if they received life threats, they would not stop their work or deferred proceedings... Nobody can stop things from happening and whatever lies in store for anyone has to happen, that’s destiny,” he added.
Justice Faisal further said: “In light of F-8 Katcheri attack we would not lock up ourselves in homes and close the case file and wait for the good time.” The court said it would issue notices to interior secretary and Islamabad commissioner and ask them to ensure foolproof security of the Special Court. Before the start of the hearing fateha was offered for the March 3 attack victims.
Rana Ejaz, one of the members of Musharraf team, said: “I have information and according to that all the three judges of Special Court, prosecutors and the defence counsels could be targeted and murdered”, and the blamed would be levelled on Musharraf.
Ahmed Raza Kasuri’s threats were somewhat different in nature. He presented a copy of a letter, handwritten in Urdu, in the court. Kasuri told the court that he received the letter sent by the Taliban on his Supreme Court address, which was addressed to him, Anwar Mansoor and Sharifudin Pirzada.
The TTP in the letter asked the three counsels to detach from the case and threatened them of chopping off their heads if they would not. “Musharraf after arresting many Muslims in the country handed them over to America... He (Musharraf) came back to Pakistan for seat (power),” the letter said.
One of the prosecutors, after the hearing, while talking to The Nation said two things were worth noting it in the letter. Firstly, it requested the counsels in very decent way. Secondly, the date on the envelope is 11-2-14. The Musharraf counsels repeatedly mentioned the incident of F-8 Katcheri attack. The prosecutor said the court should see this fact that why Musharraf counsels waited for March 3 incident to present this letter in the court. He said as the defence team had exhausted all the arguments they were using such delaying tactics.
Anwar Mansoor, another lawyer of former dictator, pleaded before the bench that after the March 3 incident he had been receiving threats continuously. “I am feeling insecure as a few days ago I was looted in Karachi and the criminals snatched my wallet and mobile phone on the gun point.”
The defence team demanded that further proceedings be halted before the decision on all the issues including court’s jurisdiction, constitution of court, biasness of judges, and appointment of Akram Sheikh as prosecutor. The court on February 21 had dismissed Musharraf application for transferring his case from this court to a military court. The judgments reserved on judges’ alleged biasness and constitution of court issues would be announced tomorrow (Friday).
Talking to mediapersons outside the court, Rana Ejaz said Musharraf would not appear before the court on 11th, unless proper security arrangements are made. He said it was beyond his comprehension why the government wanted to continue dialogue despite attacks on security personnel and civilians. Ahmed Raza Kasuri said after the Supreme Court/High Court Bar Associations resolutions it was inappropriate to appear before the court. He said if an untoward incident takes place with his team members then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief Minister Shabaz Sharif would be held responsible.