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Dr Faqir Hussain, Registrar Supreme Court of Pakistan, reads out the detailed judgment in human rights case No. Supreme Court building in Islamabad on Thursday. ISLAMABAD: In its detailed verdict in the Asghar Khan case issued on Thursday, the Supreme Court held that unlawful orders by superior military officers or their failure to prevent unlawful actions by their subordinates were culpable. Although the judgment dwelt at length on the role of the president, it did not specifically point finger at President Asif Ali Zardari.
Asad Durrani to dole out funds among politicians to prevent the PPP from winning the elections in 1990. The president, the verdict said, did not have any operational authority with respect to the armed forces even after the Eight Amendment. Similarly, the president has no authority to create an election cell or to manage in any manner or by giving directions to the armed forces or to civilians to make efforts to achieve desired results. If any such illegal order is transmitted, the same is not worthy to be obeyed. Asad Durrani for their role in facilitating a group of politicians and political parties to ensure their success against their rivals in the 1990 elections.
Against the usual practice, the detailed judgment was released to the media by SC Registrar Dr Faqir Hussain himself. The practice, he explained, was to avoid confusion, ambiguity or out of context reporting. 141-page verdict authored by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. It explained why the three-judge bench had ruled that the 1990 general elections were polluted by the dishing out of Rs140 million to a particular group of politicians only to deprive the people of being represented by people chosen by them.
Citing the July 31, 2009, Sindh High Court Bar Association case, the court reiterated that military rule was against the dignity, honour and glory of the nation achieved after sacrifices. Within the prescribed parameters, it said, a soldier must remain committed to defending Pakistan until the last drop of his blood against external aggression or threat of war and subject to law, acting in aid of civil power when called upon to do so under the directions of the federal government. In the course of the discharge of his duty, a soldier was, therefore, obligated to see that the Constitution was upheld, it was not abrogated, not subverted and not mutilated, the judgment said, adding that if a member of the armed forces did any of these he violated his oath and rendered himself liable to action under the Constitution and the law. The judgment made it clear that vesting the supreme command in the president did not empower him, even after the Eight Amendment, to act in his discretion or upon his discretion.