Pakistani military protests treatment meted out to Musharraf

Islamabad, April 27 (IANS) A group of Pakistan’s military officers have protested, before a parliamentary panel, the treatment being meted out to former president Pervez Musharraf, a media report said Saturday.

The delegation of 75 officers from Command and Staff College, Quetta, led by Col. Saqib Ali Cheema, met the chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Defence and Defence Production Mushahid Hussain Sayed at the parliament house to express concern over Musharraf’s arrest, reported Dawn.

“The military officers were of the opinion that under the constitution, the armed forces cannot be criticised,” a source was quoted as saying.

Hussain said: “We are all proud of professionalism of our armed forces and in the constitution, judiciary and armed forces are national institutions which should not be subject to any kind of criticism.”

He later told the daily that the officers had asked him if there was anything in the constitution which allowed anyone to humiliate any institution, and he answered that there was no such provision.

Musharraf, who returned to Pakistan March 23 after over four years of self-imposed exile in Dubai, was keen to contest the May 11 general elections. However, his nomination papers were rejected from four constituencies.

An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan Friday granted to investigators custody of Musharraf in the assassination case of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, lawyers said.

Musharraf, who ruled Pakistan from 1999 to 2008, has been accused of failing to provide adequate security to Bhutto when she returned to Pakistan from exile in 2007.

Musharraf has already been arrested in the case of keeping judges in illegal confinement when he imposed Emergency rule in 2007.

The former president is also facing charges of high treason for the abrogation of the constitution, that paved the way for the declaration of Emergency.

Five people have filed petitions for proceedings related to high treason in the Supreme Court. However, the interim government has refused to pursue the case because of its limited role, and petitioned the apex court to leave the case to the next elected government.

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