A Pakistani court has dismissed a petition seeking registration of high treason case against former president and opposition Pakistan People’s Party’s co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari for his “anti-army” remarks. Lahore High Court Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah termed the petition ‘non-prosecution’ and dismissed it on Friday. Advocate Aftab Virk had filed the petition contending that Zardari used derogatory language against the Pakistan army in his June 2015 speech. He said the army was busy with operation Zarb-i-Azb and such a statement against it at this time was not good.
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“Zardari had committed treason by attacking and maligning the institution of army,” the petitioner said and requested the court to try him under Article 6 of the Constitution.
The chief justice had been hearing arguments from the petitioner side on the maintainability of the petition on previous hearings.
Zardari last year had lashed out at the military establishment for ‘overstepping its domain’.
“The army chiefs come and go every three years but the political leadership is here to stay. We know the country better and we know how to run its affairs,” Zardari had said.
He had also warned the military establishment to refrain from character assassination of political parties.
“If you do not stop, I will come out with a list of accused generals since Pakistan’s creation.”
He asked the establishment to separate itself from politics and not interfere in matters out of its domain.
Soon after his ‘anti-military’ speech Zardari left the country and has not returned since July 2015.
At present he is staying in Dubai.