An analyst says Musharraf was warned not to return to Pakistan, but he ignored political advisors and has walked into allegations of treason.
In the background of this former President Musharraf of Pakistan returned to Pakistan from London to enter upcoming parliamentary elections, but has been immediately summoned by the Supreme Court over allegations of treason and he is banned from leaving the country. The allegations concern an action of imposing emergency rule in 2007. He is also facing other charges that concern inadequate security ahead of the visit by Benazhir Bhutto, which claimed her life by assassination.
Press TV has interviewed Syed Tariq Pirzada, political analyst from Islamabad about this issue. The following is an approximate transcription of the interview.
How significant a decision is this on the part of the Supreme Court?
It’s a major decision. The Supreme actually learned from the way the ex-Ambassador of Pakistan to the United States left the country when he was being tried on different charges. That fellow never returned to Pakistan.
So the Supreme Court learned the lesson and as soon as Musharraf entered the country we had these applications that you referred to that went before the Supreme Court in the end and now the Supreme Court has said, let’s decide the case. Let’s settle the issue of treason and until that happens you aren’t leaving the country.
What now happens to Musharraf, will he actually be charged? The punishment for treason is the death penalty.
Well, right now the applications that are being heard by the Supreme Court, they are the applications upon which a decision on them will decide whether he is guilty of treason or not.
So, first the nature and the substance of the applications is decided upon by the Supreme Court, then we’ll get to the point of treason.
Here, the issue is not just treason, it is the subversion of the Constitution. It is the violation of the Constitution especially when he enforced the emergency and violated the Constitution, he was not granted immunity by the court at that time for his actions.
And this is contrary to what other dictators in Pakistan had the privilege of getting. So they got away with that. This time Mr. Musharraf is in serious trouble.
I think he is the most ill-advised person who has ever entered into the arena of politics in this country. He could not differentiate that a military adventure and a political action are two different things.
And he was hoping that a crowd of seven million people would be there at the airport and he would be welcomed by that crowd. It did not happen. So somebody ill-advised that fellow and what he is going to face is this situation.
Pakistan is very serious; there is election fever. Nobody is ready to listen to Musharraf and everybody is laughing - he has become a laughing stock.
I wish he had exercised some judgment and actually there are certain elements, political elements who advised him in London, do not ever return to your country, this country is not ready for you. But he simply ignored everything so he is facing the consequences of his decision to return to Pakistan.