In a surprise move, former Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf on Monday appointed a new lawyer in the high treason case against him, a development that was welcomed by the special court and the prosecution.
The appointment of Farogh Nasim came as a surprise as he hurriedly filed his power of attorney to represent Musharraf on Monday.
Known as a calm, witty and sharp lawyer, Naseem is a Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) senator and has represented the
party in many legal battles.
The defence team of Musharraf, 70, had today boycotted the proceedings alleging that the court was biased.
Asked if the defence team has been replaced, one of Musharraf’s lawyers, Mohammad Ali Saif, who too boycotted the
proceedings said, “You cannot say that the defence team has been changed. Yes, an addition has been made”.
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When pressed further he said, “We have boycotted the proceedings for today. The client (Musharraf) has not removed
us and we continue to be part of his legal team. We will soon be filing applications against certain remarks made by the Bench”.
The court and the prosecution too welcomed the appointment of Nasim. Nasim assured the court that under him, there will
be no indiscipline from the defence side.
During the last hearing, chief of the three-member bench Justice Faisal Arab had stormed out of the hearing after being
“disgusted” with the continuous verbal attack by the defence.
Ahmed Raza Kasuri, another lawyer of Musharraf said, “This is a T20 match. We will decide when to hit a six and a four.
The prosecutor saying that this is not a treason case is a sixer for us”.
Musharraf was indicted on Monday under Article 6 for suspending, subverting and abrogating the Constitution, imposing an emergency in the country in November 2007 and detaining judges of the superior courts.
The former president, who is the first military ruler in Pakistan’s history to be tried in court, has rejected all the charges levelled against him.
Since Musharraf returned to Pakistan from self-exile in March last year, he has faced prosecution in four major cases, including for his alleged involvement in the murder of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in 2007 and the killing of Baloch nationalist leader Akbar Bugti in 2006.