File photo: Pervez Musharraf. Photograph:( ANI )
Activists of All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) gathered outside the Pakistan High Commission to "demand justice for Pervez Musharraf" and to register condemnation of the "politically motivated" cases against their leader.
Supporters of Pakistan's military dictator, Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf, who was sentenced to death last week, held a protest in the British capital on Sunday alleging that the former president has been treated unfairly.
Activists of All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) gathered outside the Pakistan High Commission to "demand justice for Pervez Musharraf" and to register condemnation of the "politically motivated" cases against their leader. They said that Musharraf does not deserve the death sentence after being tried under Article 6 of the Constitution of Pakistan for high treason, Geo News reported.
The demonstrators raised slogans in Musharraf's support and said that he had brought a lot of development to Pakistan and under him, Pakistan earned respect in the world.
Calling the Islamabad Special Court's verdict as 'unfair,' the protestors further claimed that Musharraf's years in power were a "golden era" for Pakistan and he had dealt effectively with terrorism.
President APML Overseas, Afzal Siddiqui, who led the protest, was quoted as saying that the party condemned paragraph 66 of the detailed verdict which contained remarks that Musharraf's body should be dragged and hanged at D-Chowk for three days.
He added that the former leader was not given a fair trial and the way the trial was initiated and conducted showed that it was always been an exercise of "revenge".
He criticised former chief justice, Iftikhar Chaudhry, for instructing the government to try Musharraf under Article 6. He said that it became clear when a Supreme Court judge openly mocked the former president.
"The political, fabricated and fraudulent nature of the case may also be gauged from the fact that it was hastily concluded without hearing the former president, sentencing him in absentia, restricting the latter from presenting evidence and by aggressively dismissing the noble efforts of the law minister and the attorney general for remedying earlier serious politicised legal shortcomings. The new prosecution team was not even granted the time to study the case," he said.
A petition given to the authorities at Pakistan High Commission by the protestors said that holding the constitution in abeyance was not an offence according to the Pakistani constitution in 2007. Only later in 2010 through the 18th amendment, the text of Article 6 was modified to make abeyance of the constitution an offence.
"We ask to declare null and void this bizarre special court judgment and reject all malicious attempts to label Musharraf a 'traitor'. The honourable Musharraf has fought wars for Pakistan and was the beloved chief of Pakistan Army. His tenure witnessed unprecedented growth of the Pakistani economy and led to the betterment of the Pakistani people. Musharraf can never be a traitor," the petition read.