ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Ex-servicemen Association (PESA) seems to be divided over the issue of General (Retd) Pervez Musharraf's treason trial, as its top office-bearers are not on the same page with regard to the treatment meted out to the former army chief in the courts.
PESA General Secretary, Brigadier (Retd) Syed Masudul Hassan, expressed serious reservations over the alleged discriminatory treatment meted out to the former military chief during his trial. However, Gen (Retd) Ali Kuli Khan, chairman PESA, speaks otherwise and disassociated himself with the statement of his general secretary.
The rifts in Pakistan Ex-servicemen Association appeared after Hassan in a statement on Saturday said that trial of army was started when Musharraf's treason trial was already going on, which was discrimination.
"How come former President Asif Ali Zardari got immunity in Swiss case despite the fact that he stashed billions of ill-gotten money in Swiss banks before becoming president but former Army Chief Musharraf is not considered immune," he questioned.
The former military strategist said that parliament and all those institutions which provided constitutional and legal cover to Musharraf's actions were equally responsible for the crime but they were being ignored which was against the norms of justice.
He claimed that suspension of the constitution was not considered high treason anywhere in the world, adding that treason was applied to someone who provided state secrets to enemy countries.
Gen (Retd) Kuli and Brig (Retd) Mian Mohammad Mehmood, founder general secretary of the association, not only disassociated themselves from the statement of Hassan but also stressed the need for fair trial of Musharraf.
Talking to The Nation both ex-army officers said that the trial of Musharraf had nothing to do with the dignity of the Armed Forces and the morale of soldiers. Kuli said that no meeting had been convened on the issue of Musharraf as yet but the matter would be taken up in the upcoming meeting on April 26.
Mehmood said that military should keep itself at a distance from the high treason trial and Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif should be careful before issuing statements.