ISLAMABAD: Rejecting the claims of pressure on the government in Pervez Musharraf case, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif on Monday vowed to fight for rule of law and abide by the court decisions.
He described the indictment of former dictator as a “threshold” and said, “We shall protect the Constitution. With his indictment for treason, we have crossed another milestone for strong democracy.”
“What once had been a dream for us, the judiciary has made it a reality. Today a subjugator of the Constitution is facing the trial and the court will decide his fate,” he said speaking in the National Assembly on a motion under Rule 259.
He said it was the will of God and the decision of the people of Pakistan that today Nawaz Sharif was prime minister of the country and those, who used to say that Nawaz could not return, were facing the treason case.
He offered an air ambulance to bring the mother of Pervez Musharraf to Pakistan and said, “Illness cannot be made an excuse because many sitting in this House were also in jails when their dear ones were sick or had died. Many among us were released on parole to attend the funerals of their parents.”
The Defence Minister said, “If Pervez Musharraf is released on this plea then what to do of the thousands of prisoners, whose kith and kin either have died or are seriously ill. Should we stop the course of law for this reason?”
He said said Pervez Musharraf dragged the country into an unending war that cost the lives of 50,000 Pakistanis. He also handed over countrymen to the United States and kneeled down before them to surrender the sovereignty of the country. “Now we have taken initiatives to end that war, which is costing us billions of dollars every year.”
Khawaja Asif said rule of law would prevail forever and requirements of justice would be met. “The government will accept the decisions of courts and there is no pressure on it in Musharraf’s case.”
He said the government and the military were on the same page in respect of national issues and all institutions would forge ahead unitedly for progress and peace in the country.
He endorsed the remarks of Mahmood Khan Achakzai that if the Constitution were abrogated again, the country would suffer an irreparable loss.
The Defence Minister said equality before the law was a basic ingredient of rule of law and nobody could be treated discriminately before the law.
He said it was unfortunate that even those people managed to get elected for the Parliament, who had supported the dictators. “But, today there is independent judiciary in the country; peaceful transfer of power from one government to other has taken place and provinces have been given autonomy through 18th amendment.”
He said over past decade the thinking of Army had also changed and they had not intervened into politics.
Khawaja Asif said today citizens of the country were mature and they would not tolerate any hindrance in the journey for democracy and those, who had abrogated the Constitution, would have to pay for abrogation.