It is first time that during a democratic government, when all organs of state are functioning under the constitution, the decisions of military courts established by Musharraf, is going to attain finality. Black period when hundreds of people went missing and still their nears and dears are on the roads with a hope to see them again.
On 14 Dec 2003, a blast took place on a bridge near Jhanda Chichi, it was such a plan blast that not a single fly was killed. Even nobody received injuries. Dozens of people from PAF along with good number of civilians were arrested in that connection. Their family members were also picked up by the agencies.
After almost one year of illegal confinement, their trials were conducted by PAF authorities at Chaklala.
At the commencement of the trial, no advocate was allowed to represent the accused Persons. Civilian Mushtaq, one of the accused could not avail the services of counsel (Advocate) throughout the trial. During mid of 2005, their family members came to know through newspapers that following persons had been given death sentence through court martial by PAF:
Chief Tech. Nawazish Ali
Chief Tech. Khalid Mehmud
CPL tech. Niaz Mehmud
Junior Tech. Adnan Rashid
They were charged for making an attempt on life of Gen Musharraf.
2nd FGCM (Field General Court Martial) was conducted at Attock Fort, Nine individuals were charged, that they seduced the Army Personnel from their allegiance to the government ofPakistan. Whereas there is not an iota of evidence that they have ever talked even against the Federal Govt.
They all were arrested during Dec 2003. Their family members were also picked up. After 15 months of their arrest their trials started at Attock Fort. Even during entire period of trial, nobody was allowed to meet them.
Again through news papers, On 28 Aug 2005, it was revealed that out of them 5 individuals were given Death Sentences:
|(I)||Naik Arshad Mehmud||Death|
|(II)||Civilian Zubair Ahmed||Death|
|(III)||Civilian Rashid Qureshi||Death|
|(IV)||Civilian Ghulam Sarwar Bhatti||Death|
|(V)||Civilian Ikhlas Ahmed||Death|
|(VI)||Civilian Rana Naveed||Life Imprisonment|
|(VII)||Civilian Amir Sohail||20 years|
|(VIII)||Civilian Adnan Khan||10 years|
|(IX)||Civilian Shazia Naveed w/o Civilian Rana Naveed||Acquitted|
Rana Naveed filed an Appeal against his Life Imprisonment in the Army Court of Appeals. The court without giving him a notice, which was mandatory, enhanced his sentence of Life imprisonment to Death.
Under Pakistan Penal Code Section 131 the sentence for seducing against the Federal Govt. is 10 years but malifidely the sentence of mutiny which is death has been given to them.
Civilian Amir Sohail did not file an appeal, even no counsel appeared on his behalf in Army Court Of Appeals, and even then his Imprisonment was also converted into Death.
Shazia Naveed w/o Rana Naveed (who got death sentence on making Appeal) was never released even after her acquittal by the Court Martial.
CJP Ch. Iftikhar, took Suo moto only then she was produced before the Supreme Court Of Pakistan, where she narrated the tale of horror, the way she was kept in a underground cell along with her child of three months where she could not see sunlight for more than two years. Her case after acquittal fromMilitary Courtwas transferred to ATC Court Rawalpindi for her illegal involvement in an Act of terrorism against Gen Musharraf.
Finding no evidence she was granted bail by the ATC Judge, but she could not be released from Adiyala Jail.
On her day of release she was picked up by Samasatta Police along with agencies people in an alleged case of Bank Dacoit registered atBahawalpur. She was taken to Bahawalpur along with her son, who by then had reached the age of 4 years behind bars along with her mother without committing any crime.
Finally she was acquitted by ATC Judge of Bahawalpur due to no evidence.
Latter she was also acquitted by ATC Judge Rawalpindi on the charges of terrorism.
But the apathy of poor family did not end at all, her father in law Rana Faqir an old man, who was pursuing the case of his son Rana Naveed (death sentence) went missing during trial of his son along with Hafiz Tahir, brother of Shazia Naveed. During the cases of missing persons, on the orders of CJP Ch Iftikhar, Hafiz Tahir was produced before Supreme Court on 4th Sep 2007 and released by the court after 4 years of illegal confinement by the agencies. However Rana Faqir was shown arrested by Civil Lines Police Station on26th Aug 2007with a typical story of police that he was arrested from GT road` by police mobile where he was waiting for a bus. Only once he was produced before ATC Judge Rawalpindi and for next two years, he was never produced before any court and kept on loitering in Adiyala Jail. He was traced out by Human Right activist but he was booked under the same the charges which were framed against his son and daughter in Law at Attock Fort.
He is now facing a trial at ATC Rawalpindi, 38 witnesses have been examined by the court, not a single witness has pointed a finger towards his involvement in the case .Police had given a list of 165 witnesses, God knows better when the evidence of remaining witness would complete and he would get Justice.
Following serious Illegalities were committed during the trials conducted by Court Martial:
(i) The accused persons were put to unbearable physical torture for more than 7 months and during that period their so-called judicial confessions were obtained.
(ii) The witnesses against them were also kept in confinement at Attock Fort and under custody their statements were recorded by Court Martial. The Prosecution witnesses admitted that they were in custody for more than one year and they had been promised that if they would give statement they would be released.
(iii) Accused Persons also gave lists of defense witnesses, but they were picked up by the agencies. Not a single defense witness could appear before FGCM neither at Chacklala nor at Attock Fort.
(iv) Civilian Ikhlas at serial 18 was alleged that on 2nd Mar2001, he attempted to seduce army personals from their allegiance to duty whereas at that point of time he was not inPakistan. He produced his passport which contained the date of entry as 16th Mar2001. The military court gave observation that the passport is genuine but have not been produced by a competent witness therefore cannot be considered and awarded death sentence. The military court was duty bound to forward the passport to Immigration department for verification but with ugly haste, it pronounced death sentence. From this one can imagine how justice was administered by such type courts.
(v) Civilians were jointly tried with the army persons, which was against the law.
(vi) Both the trials were conducted in Camera, even their defense Counsels were never given free access to them.
(vii) No legal and admissible evidence was before the court martial; even then the court awarded them Capital Punishments.
(viii) At the end of trial the Army Authoritiesrefused to give them the Court Martial Proceedings, which was the Birth right of the accused persons as the Death sentences were awarded to them. It was refused to them that due to security reasons proceedings cannot be given to them. Actually the entire proceedings were conducted utter disregard to Military Law and Law of the land. It was an act of malafide as the proceedings did not contain any incriminating evidence against the accused persons.
(ix) Against the decision of Court Martial the convict persons filed an Appeal in the High Court. It was era of Musharraf; High Court under article 199(3) of constitution refused to interfere in the decision of Court Martial and dismissed it in limine on following grounds:
(x) Arguments of counsels could not be appreciated in absence of record of court martial proceedings.
(xi) Despite having sufficient time neither the petitioners nor their counsels made efforts to obtain CTCs of judgments of Army Court of Appeals.
(xii) The ouster of jurisdiction under clause 3 and 5 of Article 199 was absolute.
Whereas it was held by superior courts at number of times that if any decision of Court Martial would be without jurisdiction, Coram non Judice or Malafide, the Superior Courts would interfere and in number of cases Superior Courts quashed the decisions of Military Courts.
Against the decision of High Court, the convicts went to Supreme Court and then Supreme Court also did not interfere. Now the parties are again before the court in a review petition, Will the Supreme Court also follow the same beaten track adopted by High Court that it should not interfere in the decision of Court Martial delivered during illegitimate era of Pervez Musharraf. Today it is a test case for Azad Adlia.
Whether it protects the birth rights of citizens? Till date the convicts could not get the copies of their proceedings, can it be called a fair trial, which is right of every citizen? The man, if he be called, Pervez Musharraf is still alive,enjoying all the protocols and privileges but the persons who were falsely alleged that they attempted on his life would be hanged.
Where the Human Rights Activists have gone? Where is Azad Media and where Civil Society is?
Dr. Inam Ul Rahiem,
Advocate High Court.
Cell # 03222998691
Defence Of Human Rights,
Bank Road, Saddar,