Now all those who were speaking against President Pervez Musharraf for his pro-United States stance, changed their behaviour. Now they have been saying that Musharraf as a national asset.
According to a report, President Pervez Musharraf is a saleable commodity and can help bring money to the country, said Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar while quoting late PPP Chairperson Benazir Bhutto.
Talking to a private TV channel, he said Benazir had a broad vision and they must utilize Musharraf’s role in accordance with their late leader’s assessment. He said President Pervez Musharraf’s role can be of great help in fight against terrorism and in ensuring country’s security.
He said President Pervez Musharraf is a national asset and they would work jointly with him. He said the army briefing to the government was very important and beneficial. He said army is achieving its target and it considers war with extremists as a last option. He said the government would check its defence spending and in this connection they would not make comparisons with India.
According to a prominent political writer of Pakistan Ansar Abbasi, whose story was published by The News International, PPP minister has been going around meeting some of the deposed judges in Islamabad’s Judges Enclave to seek assurances that once restored they would not re-open cases against President Musharraf, it is learnt.
A source said the minister met some of the deposed judges three days ago and proposed only one condition for their restoration: they would not re-open cases against the man at the top. In his individual meetings with these judges, the source said, the minister told each judge he had met other judges who, he claimed, had agreed to the condition.
But later when some of the judges consulted each other at a get-together, the source said, it was revealed that the minister was just bluffing. All this was happening amid reports of concerted efforts to disrupt the historic Murree Declaration. Some PPP stalwarts are said to have become part of this game plan to offset the PPP commitment to restore judges through a resolution in the National Assembly.
The scheme is to block the restoration of deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry by resorting to a constitutional package which, if adopted, would result in the dismissal of all the superior court judges and their reappointment after scrutiny and confirmation by a parliamentary body.
Under the garb of giving sovereignty to parliament, the effort is to negate the mandate of the people for restoration of deposed judges as on Nov 2. However, the author of this strange game plan has conveniently overlooked the basic point that if scrutiny of sitting judges by a parliamentary body is accepted as a prerequisite for their restoration then every judge would become controversial.
“Skeletons would be brought out of every cupboard of every judge by lawyers, civil society members, media and others,” a source said, adding such a recipe would not allow even the government to retain judges of its choice. Supreme Court Bar Association president Aitzaz Ahsan has already started warning about such a conspiracy.
When contacted he said the latest conspiracy had been hatched by the presidential camp. It offers a Constitutional package, which would restore all judges but at the same time require the re-appointment of all sitting judges after a review de novo by a parliamentary committee of both the houses of parliament.
Aitzaz said in this process the presidency believes that it would be able to get rid of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry by making him controversial before the committee.
President’s Spokesman Maj-Gen (retd) Rashid Qureshi, when contacted, denied that President Musharraf is behind any such conspiracy. Qureshi said Aitzaz is and has been unfair to the president, about whom he has become paranoid.
He said he does not want to comment on what Aitzaz Ahsan says about Musharraf. Another leading lawyer Justice (retd) Tariq Mehmud is already quoted in The News saying a top PPP legal mind had discussed with him what was called the “Minus-One Formula”.
Tariq had also said the PPP legal aide had also tried to convince him that the new PPP government would feel more comfortable with Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar instead of Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.
He was trying to convince me to approach Justice Iftikhar so that he should give a guarantee that after his restoration he would immediately resign from the office of the chief justice on the very first day,” the newspaper quoted him as saying.