AWP is against the death sentence for any crime under any circumstances
The Awami Workers Party (AWP) welcomes the landmark the special court judgment on military dictator General Pervez Musharraf’s high treason trial.
It is a landmark and historic judgment that will have far-reaching implications for Pakistani politics and shut the door on political adventurists and subversion of the constitution by the army in the future.
The AWP believes that democratic transformation in Pakistan can be achieved through structural changes, disengagement of the military establishment from politics and economy and foreign policy.
The AWP called for complying with the court judgment.
The party, however, condemns statements by the armed forces spokesperson as well as the government, its Attorney-General, and Musharraf’s legal team on the verdict.
The ISPR head’s statements were a clear violation of the constitutional provisions and in contempt of the superior judiciary, giving the impression that all state institutions are subservient to follow the dictation of armed forces.
The AWP President Yousuf Mustikhan and General Secretary Akhtar Hussain in a joint statement on Wednesday stated that the party is against the death sentence for any crime howsoever heinous it is and under any circumstances as it is cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.
They recalled that in the past, judiciary and establishment have never accepted the supremacy -of the civilian rule and were hands-in-gloves in sent packing democratically-elected governments under the garb of the doctrine of necessity giving legitimacy to dictatorships.
The verdict, nevertheless, was encouraging to see Pakistan breaking with a history of impunity for powerful generals and may go a long way in rectifying these historical wrongs and in asserting the sovereign authority of the chosen representatives.
They said the trial lasted more than five years and the accused was given all possible opportunities to appear in court and defend himself but he avoided and mocked the judiciary on one pretext or the other and left the country. He even did not record his statement through video link from abroad.
“Musharraf subverted the Constitution and committed high treason,” stated Mr Hussain. He is a fugitive and court absconder. He was responsible for the Kargil fiasco and imposed an emergency in 2007, suspending the constitution; during his dictatorial regime.
He was responsible for human rights violations, extrajudicial killings, the military operations in FATA, and Balochistan as well as the killing of Nawab Akbar Bugti and others, assassination of Benazir Bhutto, enforced disappearances, and deaths in custody, Mr Mustikhan said.
He added that the PTI government has lost its legitimacy by taking yet another U-turn on Musharraf verdict and giving an extension to General Bajwa. Now its ministers and Attorney-General have been defending the dictator vehemently.
This verdict has established the stance of the democratic and progressive forces and also demolished the myth that the generals are holy cows and the military is ‘guardian of the state’, thereby enjoying default monopoly control over all of Pakistan’s resources and people can forever be deprived of economic, political and social freedoms under the guise of the ‘greater national interest’, AWP leaders said.
The two leaders reiterated progressive political forces’ longstanding commitment to civilian democratic supremacy, turning Pakistan into people’s democratic state which undoes the social foundations of class, ethnic, religious and gender domination.
The AWP Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa President Advocate Shahab Khattak supported the strike call given by KP Bar Council against the military’s statement which clearly gives the impression that in Pakistan all the institutions are subservient to follow the dictation of the armed forces and its related institutions and there is no respect for any other forum including the judiciary, the parliament, and other state institutions.