By Mir Mohammad Alikhan
Traitor ? I am not being able to digest this word since yesterday. Tried quite a bit but failed to digest it. Whatever Musharraf was, he was not a traitor. If treason is defined and applied on Musharraf so loosely, then so many definitions of the word come to mind. Not the definitions made my me but the creators of the “Common Law”, the aristocratic legends of manipulation by words drafted into law.
Did you know that a wife killing a husband was also considered ‘Treason” at one point ? Not joking. It was the law. If a servant killed his Master, that was also treason. If one killed the king, it was “High Treason” and if one killed only his immediate superior it was “Petty Treason”.
Even the punishments were different from men to women. Men were decently hanged for treason and women were violently burnt at the stake. These punishments were abolished in 1814. So in 1814 along with the punishments, the definition of treason changed as well.
Then came another twist. Blasphemy and treason were considered one and the same. Why ? Because the belief was that The King was Gods’ representative and chosen by God himself and if one revolts against The King then one is directly revolting against God.
In actuality the words “treason” and “traitor” come from the Latin word, Tradere, meaning, to deliver something or to hand it over. This word was coined in AD 303 out of a religious necessity or a religious oppression whereby the Bishops and Christians who turned over their fellow Christians to the Roman authorities were considered ‘Traditors”, or “Traitors”. It had nothing to do with the state or the constitution of a country. It was pure manipulation by the religious clergy to punish fellow faith members and to keep them checked and inline.
In Victoria the meaning and punishment was different for treason than in Australia or England or Brazil or Canada or Finland or France or Germany or even Hong Kong. Even corruption was considered treason but it quickly made the powerful realise that if death sentences were to be passed on based on corruption then majority will be hanged, so a quick amendment was made in the law based on personal convenience. If corruption was treason at one point, then loyalty and progress made by a person for his country should be the opposite of treason. Development of a nation, taking a nation out of imminent bankruptcy, anarchy, chaos should be rewarded instead of punished. There should be an award conferred upon a person for all of the above if a punishment is meted out for the opposite, treason.
If Musharraf is to be hung, he should be hanged because
- He took Pakistan’s foreign reserves from a mere $700 million to $17 billion in a few years.
- He should be hanged because Pakistan became 3rd most profitable country in banking around the world.
- He should be hanged because IT exports increased to $2 billion and created 90,000 new jobs.
- He should be hanged because the CNG sector alone generated $7 billion in investments and created 50,000 new jobs.
- He should be hanged because all the media channels were liberalized, the ones who sit and bark against the country today.
- He should be hanged because telecommunications sector was attracted over $10 billion in investments alone which created over 1 million jobs.
- He should be hanged because The Pakistan Stock Exchange went up 2000% during his time from 700 to 15,000.
- He should be hanged 650 miles of coastal highways were developed in the remotest areas of Pakistan.
- He should be hanged because the industrial sector witnessed 26% growth.
- He should be hanged Sardar Bahauddin Khan Women university was established in Quetta
- University of Science And Technology was established in Bannu
- University of Hazara was established
- University of Malakand was founded
- University of Gujrat was established
- Virtual university of Pakistan was established
- Sarhad University of Peshawer was founded
- National Law University was founded in Islamabad
- Media university of in Islamabad was established
- Pakistan economy grew 200% to $160 billion
- GDP Purchasing Power Parity PPP was $475 billion in 2007
- GDP Per Capita was $1000 in 2007
- Exports grew to $18.5 billion in 2007
- Textile exports touched and grew to $11.2 billion
- FDI crossed $8 billion in 2007
And the list can go on and on. The point is not that democracy is not supreme. It always is and it always should be. But in the love of democracy we begin to punish those who have served the nation economically progressively and loyally better at times than the elected officials.
A soldier who fought for Pakistan and served his country for 40 years can be anything but a traitor. There are a million other things you can charge Musharraf for if you can put a logical case together, IF YOU CAN, then why put such a charge on him that 9 out of 10 citizens of Pakistan will reject.
We are not fools anymore. We want the supremacy of the law. We want democracy to continue and continue it will Insha Allah, but democracy and the constitution that serves that democracy should never become an excuse to settle scores, scores that will come back to haunt the nation decades or centuries later and create an absolute polarization.
Punish the right crime not the wrong person.