A special court in Pakistan on Thursday issued a bizarre order, directing that former dictator Pervez Musharraf, if found dead before being executed, should be dragged to the D-Chowk in Islamabad, in front of the Pakistan Parliament, and hung for three days, Dawn reported.
On Tuesday, the special court had sentenced Musharraf to death for high treason. Two out of the three judges were in favour of capital punishment. The case was initiated by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif against Musharraf for imposing a state of emergency in the country on November 2007.
Musharraf, 76, currently lives in exile in Dubai. Musharraf’s health has been deteriorating, and he was admitted to hospital on December 2, Gulf News reported. He was discharged later, but continues to be on a hospital bed installed at his home. “I have served my country for 10 years,” Musharraf said in a video statement after his sentencing. “I have fought for my country. This [treason] is the case in which I have not been heard and I have been victimised.”
The court had released its detailed verdict on Thursday. Following this, the Pakistan Army and the Imran Khan-led government reacted in anger. They decided to file a reference against Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Waqar Ahmed Seth in the Supreme Judicial Council, as well as appeal the verdict in the Supreme Court. Justice Seth was one of the judges who pronounced the order.
Paragraph 66 of the verdict read: “We direct the law enforcement agencies to strive their level best to apprehend the fugitive/convict [Pervez Musharraf] and to ensure that the punishment is inflicted as per law and if found dead, his corpse be dragged to the D-Chowk [in front of the Parliament House], Islamabad, Pakistan, and be hanged for three days.”
The government decided to move the Supreme Judicial Council against the order, after a meeting of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s strategic committee. Khan chaired the meeting after speaking to Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
Earlier on Thursday, Pakistan Army Spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor vowed to thwart the “enemy design”, while referring to certain parts of the judgement. “Today’s verdict, especially the words used in it, is against humanity, religion, culture and our values,” he said. Ghafoor also asserted that conspiracies of the “anti-state elements” both “internal and external” would be foiled.