Published On: Mon, Jan 6th, 2014

Musharraf’s Treason Trial and His Kashmiri Allies

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By Dr. Syed Nazir Gilani –

The architect of 4 Point Formula (Pervez Musharraf) to resolve Kashmir dispute with India is facing a treason trial in the court. He had claimed all along that all Kashmiri political parties except Syed Ali Shah Geelani were on board. It is at the highest level that Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh on Friday 3 January 2014 has publicly acknowledged at a press conference that secret envoys from the two countries had almost arrived at an agreed resolution to end the conflict in Kashmir. “At one time it appeared an important breakthrough was in sight. However, in Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf had to make way for a different set of [leaders]. I think that led to the process not moving properly. However, I still believe that good relations between India and Pakistan are possible.”

The news has not caused any interest in Jammu and Kashmir or in Kashmiri circles outside Kashmir. It is characteristic of the political and popular opinion in Kashmir that they are given to a lazy habit of being spoken about and traded across the table by someone on their behalf. The people and the habitat of Kashmir that had been put through an avoidable and undesired militant resistance, at the cost of the death of a generation, death of self-determination (numerical deficit), unprecedented suffering of the people never witnessed in  144 years from 1846-1990 and a colossal loss in all spheres of life, failed to ask its leadership about the contours of the resolution for which they had given a yes nod to Musharraf and had been keeping it as a sacred secret close to their chest.

It seems that Kashmiri leaders had been treating the people of Kashmir as a minor girl under their guardianship (Wali) which had to be married away without making any reference to her in regard to the merits of the marriage. A wali in such cases is supposed to be a person of good conscience and God fearing to secure the interests of the minor girl. People and their future could not be entrusted to a ‘political wali’.

BJP however has asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to reveal the contours of this breakthrough on Jammu & Kashmir with Pakistan which was thwarted due to former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf having to demit office. Leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley has said he expected the PM to clarify his remarks made at a press conference in Delhi on Friday.

After a combined spell of early militancy and united resistance politics in early 1990s, Musharraf officially switched off the interest in further militant activity in Kashmir and the elements in the Government of Pakistan saw a further benefit in the fragmentation of the united Hurriyat politics. It decided to own the three main elements namely, Hurriyat G, Hurriyat M and the JKLF, which hitherto had remained as a united discipline under the Hurriyat Constitution adopted on 31 July 1993.  Kashmiri political leaders lost interest in the principal reference to its people and saw its relevance in reference to accreditation from Islamabad.  It encouraged a mushroom of letterhead and one man political party culture in Srinagar.

Pervez Musharraf is facing a treason trial in Pakistan. Our leaders have been his close allies since 1999 and have been on the page of his favour all along. They have to explain to Kashmiri people the nature of the agreement structured behind their backs. They have to explain as to why this agreement has remained a closely guarded secret from the people of Kashmir and why was Hurriyat lead to jettison the Constitutional discipline of politics (Hurriyat Constitution) which had been used as a source to encourage people to take on the world’s third largest army. Why did Hurriyat (united) decide to set aside the UN mechanism on Kashmir (supported by 194 countries) for all these years and subscribed to a failed non-Kashmiri narrative. World community has agreed on a resolution process and stands committed to it.  It entails a peaceful resolution  without any loss of life, property or honour.

Pervez Musharraf’s loss of rule and now treason trial have a direct bearing on the accumulative character of Kashmir politics. No one in Pakistan is going to buy his 4 point formula anymore and all his allies in Kashmir politics would be looked upon with suspicion and derision in Pakistan and abroad. If the treason trial goes ahead, it is likely, that Musharraf’s allies in Kashmir politics may also be referred as abetters and aiders in the treason as an inclusive. Before I explain further the jurisprudence which makes Kashmiri leaders partners in the commission of treason, it is important to set out the Constitutional status of Pervez Musharraf. It has to start with the command of Pakistan Armed Forces.

Article 243 (1) of the Constitution of Pakistan sets out the Command and Control of the Armed Forces. Under this article “The Federal Government shall have control and command of the Armed Forces”. Article 244 of the Constitution of Pakistan sets out that, “Every member of the Armed Forces shall make oath in the form set out in the Third Schedule.” The oath reads as:

(In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful)

“I——-do solemnly swear that I will bear true faith and allegiance to Pakistan and uphold the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan which embodies the will of the people, that I will not engage myself in any political activities whatsoever and that I will honestly and faithfully serve Pakistan in the Pakistan Army (or Navy or Air Force) as required by and under the law.” [May Allah Almighty help and guide me (A’meen)]

Pervez Musharraf could not build any further on the previous practices of military officers (turned rulers) who breached oath and terms of service. History could not endure it anymore and this time article 6 has decided to say no to any further disobedience and violation of oath. Pervez Musharraf may have all the abilities on earth but he is an employee in the Federal Government like any other employee of the State. Rules can’t be different for erring military officers any more.

There is a debate in Pakistan that article 6 prescribing treason does not apply to Pervez Musharraf only. It makes a reference to others who aid and abet. Therefore an interpretation of article 6 would bring many others within the definition of treason. Does it mean that a State Subject or a Pakistani could argue or even Pervez Musharraf would argue that Kashmiri leaders were also partners in the act of High Treason. The jurisprudence of Article 257  of the Constitution of Pakistan and AJK Interim Act 1974 provides the basic jurisprudence to consider Kashmiri leaders as abetters and aiders in the act of treason.

Article 6 (2) of the Constitution of Pakistan may be used to list Kashmiri leaders (and other proclaimed Kashmiris) in the current Treason Case against Pervez Musharraf who have sold 4 Point Formula on Kashmir and directly and indirectly caused a support in favour of Musharraf’s rule following his unlawful actions (for which he is being tried). These Kashmiri leaders have “aided and abetted” under article 6 to cause suspension and abrogation of Article 257 (and inclusive) and have caused a serious wrong to the people’s cause by distancing away from Pakistan’s Constitutional duty assumed under UNCIP Resolutions in Azad Jammu and Kashmir Interim Constitution Act 1974. Any State Subject or a Pakistani could claim to be an aggrieved Party.

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