Retired Gen Pervez Musharraf on Friday posted a video message to the Twitter account of the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML), hailing the Supreme Court’s disqualification of Nawaz Sharif as a “historic decision”.
“Today is a historic and important day for Pakistanis,” he said in a recorded video, in which he also briefly summarised the decision of the apex court bench.
“I want to heartily congratulate the Supreme Court bench especially because it is a brave decision which is in accordance with the principles of justice and fairness.”
He added that he wants to also congratulate the entire Supreme Court in general.
“Especially all members of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) who bravely presented such a good investigation report to the SC bench despite all threats.”
Musharraf also said: “I fully support this decision of disqualifying Nawaz Sharif as it is a very good one.”
He welcomed the court’s order to open corruption references against other members of the Sharif family.
“Their trial should begin and they should be tried and punished according to the law,” he said in the video, which appears to have been recorded in Dubai. “I want to add that since they are under trial they should be on the Exit Control List (ECL) and not allowed to travel abroad.”
“The decision also makes me think of what happened with me. In 2008, when I resigned the PPP and Asif Ali Zardari came to power. Then in 2013, Nawaz Sharif came into power… I was disappointed and used to ask God why lies are winning and honesty is losing. But today there is victory.”
Speaking to DawnNews, Musharraf credited Imran Khan for “waging a battle without wavering from his path”, and congratulated him on the SC’s decision.
He maintained that it is not the time for early elections. “I see things from a Pakistan-centric point of view, as opposed to from a legal, constitutional or political point of view. In my view, a silent revolution is in place. If we wish to help it reach maturity, there is a need for an interim government comprising people who have done excellent work in Pakistan. The Supreme Court should allow them to engage in political restructuring and amending the Constitution and they should have the backing of the army so that no one can destabilise them.”
“Articles 62 and 63 are a sword that hang over peoples’ heads… They are misused a great deal. I would like to say I am not sadiq or amin, and the court has declared that I am not. But everyone sitting in the assemblies is believed to be sadiq and amin.
“If they wish to use Articles 62 and 63, they will have to think of some way to make them more credible. They should not be used to punish someone.”
Despite pending court cases against him, the former dictator left Pakistan in March 2016 saying he would return “in a few weeks” after medical treatment.
During the last hearing of the case, Musharraf’s lawyer, Akhtar Shah, had told the court that the government needs to ensure adequate security for Musharraf before the former president can return to the country.
The prosecution argued that because Musharraf had been declared an “absconder”, he should be “legally barred from making any applications or submissions” to the court.
Musharraf is facing a treason trial for clamping emergency in the country on Nov 3, 2007, and was barred from travelling abroad after his name was placed on the ECL on Apr 5, 2013.
He left the country after the Supreme Court upheld the Sindh High Court directions to remove his name from the ECL.
Speaking to DawnNews, the former president said his confidence in the Supreme Court had “definitely increased” but problems persist in lower courts. “I am definitely ready to return, and will make a decision [about returning] after seeing the state of affairs.”