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HindustanTimes Wed,16 Apr 2014

World

Ex-Pak generals warn army may react if Musharraf humiliated
PTI
Islamabad, April 23, 2013
First Published: 16:14 IST(23/4/2013)
Last Updated: 16:17 IST(23/4/2013)

Several retired Pakistani generals have warned that the military might react if there is any move by lawyers or the judiciary to humiliate former army chief Pervez Musharraf, according to a media report on Tuesday.

Former army chief gen (retd) Mirza Aslam Beg said the army would not tolerate developments in the case of Musharraf after a "certain level".

He was quoted by the Dawn newspaper as saying that certain quarters were encouraging lawyers to act against the former military ruler.

"Otherwise they could not dare to humiliate the former (army chief) who ruled the country for more than a decade," Beg said.

"Certain elements" laid a trap for Musharraf while he was abroad by giving him an impression through social media that Pakistan was waiting for him and he would be warmly welcomed on his return from self-exile, he said.

After Musharraf's arrival in Pakistan last month, planned and coordinated efforts were made to "humiliate" him and to provoke the military by dragging the institution into unnecessary litigation along with Musharraf, Beg said.

"The situation may turn dangerous if the lawyers continued to humiliate the former military chief and tried to drag the institution into the courts," he said.

Lt gen (retd) Jamshed Ayaz, a defence analyst, said the military was closely monitoring the situation.

At least nine corps commanders currently serving in the army were promoted during Musharraf's regime, he pointed out.

Ayaz claimed Musharraf still enjoys support within the army's ranks and the incumbent chief, gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, should "play a role" to save Musharraf from humiliation.

"Otherwise Musharraf's sympathisers may intervene to rescue the former military chief," he said.

Faiz Ali Chishti, another retired general and president of the Ex-Servicemen's Society, said he believed Musharraf has to face the courts in case he had done something wrong but lawyers should not be allowed to treat him as a criminal.

"An accused, in the eye of law, remains innocent until or unless he is proved guilty," he said.

After proving a charge against an accused, courts announce their verdict and it is executed by law enforcement agencies while the role of lawyers is only to assist the courts, he said.

But in the case of Musharraf, lawyers are "trying to take the law into their own hands" and this is not acceptable, Chishti said.

There is some division among former military personnel over the treatment of Musharraf, the report said.


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