Musharraf's trial would result in unmitigated chaos in Pak: Report

     While the ruling Pakistan People's Party (PPP) in Pakistan in under immense pressure to try former President General Pervez Musharraf under high treason charges for his 'extrajudicial' actions on November 3,2007, observers believe that the former general's trial would create further problems in the troubled country. Pakistan's failure to act against Musharraf has cast doubts on Islamabad's prospects for establishing an independent judiciary, however, charging him would cause major instability in the country, a Christian Science Monitor report said. If the Supreme Court decides to pursue a high treason case against Musharraf, then it could have far reaching effect on Pakistan's internal politics, it said. Musharraf's trial would certainly see demands from different quarters to prosecute several other high profile politicians and other prominent personalities of the country as well. Many of those who are pushing for Musharraf to stand trial are themselves guilty of either committing unconstitutional acts or abetting them like former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, it added. The report said that there are plenty of persons who can be tried if the October5, 2007, National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) was overturned. The NRO immunizes all government officials who served between January 1, 1986, and October 12, 1999, when Musharraf led a coup to dethrone Nawaz Sharif and attain power. The report said that in order to avoid massive trouble in the country, the parliament should declare that the past is the past, and proceed with a firm resolve to punish any subsequent government criminality. Parliament should send a strong message of neutrality by avoiding the double standard of prosecuting one guilty party but not the others, the report added. But the real test of Pakistan's democratic capability will be whether it can set up a system of checks and balances to sustain that principle, it concluded.

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