The head of the joint investigation team (JIT), which investigated the high treason charges against former president Pervez Musharraf, informed the special court that the entire record related to the imposition of the Nov 3, 2007, emergency had been removed from the Presidency.
Testifying before the court, additional director general and the head of the JIT, Mohammad Khalid Qureshi, stated that when the investigation team approached the President House for obtaining the record related to the emergency, it was informed that all the record had been removed and, therefore, they could not respond. Mr Qureshi, however, did not tell the three-judge special court, headed by Justice Faisal Arab, who had removed the record. He also said that despite repeated attempts the General Headquarters (GHQ) and Pervez Musharraf did not provide them any information with regard to the proclamation of the emergency.
He said that after procuring some record from the interior ministry, the cabinet division, law ministry, attorney general office, Pakistan Television and the Printing Corporation of Pakistan, “the next important step of the team was to obtain record from the Ministry of Defence”.
Mr Qureshi added: “Since the defence ministry had appointed Mr Anzar Rizvi as the focal person, the JIT wrote several letters to him. The focal person issued letters and reminders to the GHQ and then informed us that they were unable to get the record.” He stated that after examining the available record the JIT unanimously concluded that there was strong evidence that linked the former military ruler with the imposition of the emergency. It recommended the competent authority to initiate proceedings against the former president under the High Treason Punishment Act 1973.
With regard to the conduct of Gen Musharraf, the JIT chief said the investigation team had also summoned the former military ruler on Nov 12 last year to record his version and any evidence in his defence. He stated that Gen Musharraf’s security adviser, retired Colonel Ilyas, while replying to the FIA summon said the former military ruler had suddenly fallen ill with a “low grade fever’ and was unable to join the investigation.
A second summon to Mr Musharraf was issued on Dec 4 last year, but he did not respond, he added. Finally, on Dec 6, 2013, “I along with FIA director Hussain Asghar met Gen Musharraf at his residence at Chak Shahzad. At the meeting, I showed Gen Musharraf the proclamation of emergency, the provisional constitution order and the oath of office (judges) 2007 all dated Nov 3, 2007, containing his signatures, but he (Musharraf) declined to respond.”