Ex-Pak army chief challenges his removal from service in court
Court issues notice to Defense Ministry for a reply before October 16
Lahore: Pakistan’s former chief of army staff Ziauddin Butt, removed by ex-dictator Pervez Musharraf as part of the 1999 coup, has filed a petition in a court here seeking a declaration that his dismissal was illegal.
He also prayed to Lahore High Court to order the government to return his properties which were seized after his arrest and to issue him pension and retirement benefits.
The petitioner submitted that on October 12, 1999, he was appointed chief of army staff by then President Rafique Tarar on the recommendations of the then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
But soon after, he said, he and Sharif were surrounded at Prime Minister’s House by troops of the 111 Brigade. Lt Gen (retd) Mehmud Ahmed and Maj Gen Ali Jan Aurakzai “threatened us at gunpoint” demanding that they both resign, but Sharif refused and the two of them were arrested, the Express Tribune reported.
The petitioner said that he was put in solitary confinement for two years. During this period, he was dismissed from service, his properties were seized and his right to a pension was denied. His cardiac condition also worsened and he lost 75 pounds.
He said his only crime was to have been appointed to a constitutional post by the president of the country.
Referring to Musharraf, he said, “The usurper (now a jail bird), oblivious to the rule of law, justice and fair play, proved a tyrant and inflicted all possible punishments (on me) in an utter violation of fundamental rights without issuing show cause notices.”
The court has issued notice to the Defense Ministry to reply before October 16.