KARACHI: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan on Sunday staged a rally in the city to express solidarity with self-exiled retired Gen Pervez Musharraf and to condemn the decision of the special court that handed death sentence to the former military dictator for high treason. The rally was held on the Liaquatabad flyover and MQM leaders, its elected representatives, workers and supporters attended it.
Speaking to the participants in the rally, party convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said that the special court’s verdict against Gen Musharraf was in contravention with the “law, Constitution and Sharia”. Dr Siddiqui, whose party had ditched even its founder Altaf Hussain in testing times, claimed that the MQM-P was not an ungrateful party as it never forgot the favours it received from Gen Musharraf.
He explained that Gen Musharraf had favoured them and the country by serving and protecting Pakistan for 40 years. “The one who favours Pakistan is actually favouring us [jo Pakistan pe Ehsan Karta hai Woh hum pe Karta hai],” he said. The MQM-P leader said that it was Musharraf who “liberated the Pakistani media” and in whose era Pakistan was developing at a fast track.
Commenting on the special court’s judgement, he said that the language used in the verdict had hurt the sentiments of the people, particularly of those living in urban areas. “The children of the founders of Pakistan are not being considered as sons of the soil,” he said.
He said that Pakistan could survive only with justice and not with coercive measures. Speaking on the occasion, senior leader Amir Khan said that the MQM-P was not against the judiciary and it had great respect for the institution. He said he hoped that Gen Musharraf would be given justice by the judiciary.
He appealed to the chief justice of Pakistan and his brother judges to take steps to display the impression of bias in the judgement against Gen Musharraf. Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar, who is also a deputy convener of the MQM’s coordination committee, told the rally that entire Karachi stood by Gen Musharraf.
Referring to the para 66 written by Justice Waqar Ahmed Seth in the detailed verdict in the high treason trial, the mayor demanded that the Supreme Court strike down the controversial paragraph. He said that the MQM-P had been opposing for long all military interventions through which the Constitution was either abrogated or held in abeyance.
He said that his party wanted to see a strong and independent judiciary. Senior party leader Faisal Subzwari also referred to the para 66 of the detailed judgement and said that it was against the norms of justice to hang a man for three days after his death.
He was of the view that all institutions must work within their respective parameters as set in the Constitution. He said that Pakistan still lacked real democracy and this was evident from the fact that those responsible for loot and plunder got “relief in a day”.
He asked whether posthumous sentences for abrogating the Constitution be handed down to other military dictators.