Former president General (r) Pervez Musharraf did not appear in the trial court on Wednesday, a week after the case was adjourned because of a bomb scare. The police officer said that officials scanning the route to court spotted the improvised bomb along a road, about a mile from Musharraf's farmhouse on the outskirts of Islamabad.

This is the second time police have found explosives along the path Musharraf is to take to court. While adjourning the case till Thursday, the court ordered that Pervez Musharraf be present in the court. His lawyer Ahmed Raza Kasuri said in case anything happened to Pervez Musharraf, the court would be responsible. Justice Faisal Arab cautioned Kasuri not to threaten the court.

On Tuesday, Pervez Musharraf filed an intra-court appeal in Islamabad High Court against rejection of his three petitions seeking high treason trial by the military court, challenging the constitution of the special court and its members and appointment of Advocate Akram Shaikh as head of the prosecution team.

On Sunday, Pervez Musharraf, while talking to reporters, said the feedback he had received from the army left him in no doubt that the army was backing him on this issue. In one of his interviews he said that in case he is convicted he would not go in appeal against the trial court verdict.

One would not know as to what he could gain by giving such statements; and why he wanted to forego his legal right of an appeal. Since the trial has started, he should not be a source of embarrassment for the military and remain well composed. He should not appear in TV interviews, and speak only through his lawyers in the court. Because of his controversial statements, his detractors demand the military establishment clarify its position. Since military leadership has not said anything in this regard, it is absurd to ask military to clarity its position. Of course, military would not like to see Pervez Musharraf being humiliated.

In June 2013, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, addressing the National Assembly, said former President General (r) Pervez Musharraf had twice abrogated the Constitution and he would be tried under Article 6 of the Constitution. However, ignoring 12th October 1999, he referred to November 2007 proclamation. He said, “The federal government’s decision was in line with the Supreme Court’s decision and the Sindh High Court verdict which firmly subscribed to the view that holding the Constitution in abeyance on 3rd November 2007 constituted an act of high treason under Article 6 of the Constitution 1973”. Constitutional expert and renowned lawyer SM Zafar, appearing at a local TV channel had then remarked: “Suspension or keeping the constitution in abeyance was not an offence in November 3, 2007, as it was added to the article 6 in the 18th amendment”.

There seems to be a consensus among constitutional experts that Musharraf’s collaborators should also be tried under Article 6 of the Constitution, as the clause 2 of Article 6 states that persons aiding, abetting or collaborating with a person who abrogates the Constitution shall also be guilty of high treason. Constitutional expert Babar Sattar, while commenting on the trial, said the high treason case may be expanded by the Supreme Court, and is likely to drag many high-ranking officers and political leaders. Senior lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan, who is also a PPP senator, had endorsed the government’s decision to try Musharraf under Article 6, but in the same breadth he foresaw a clash of institutions with the initiation of the trial, as it was the first time in Pakistan’s history that a military rule was being questioned.

Pervez Musharraf’s lawyers have taken the position that the then members of the cabinet, governors and government functionaries should be put in the dock if the process continues. Their line of argument is that had the October 1999 act not been legitimised by the judiciary, November 2007 would not have happened. The abettors of Musharraf’s coup or those who helped him in his undertaking might not remain out of the judicial process, as it was alleged that leading role was played by the then Lt-Generals, Aziz, Mehmood and Usmani. In TV talk shows some analysts have started speculating about the fate of Pervez Musharraf, and wonder if foreign countries that had come to Nawaz Sharif’s rescue would come to save him.

Normally, foreign countries do not intervene till the time sentence is handed down. Saudi Arabia had intervened only after Nawaz Sharif was sentenced by the court. PML-Q President Ch Shujaat Hussain had said: “This is a sensitive issue which could have wider repercussions and prove detrimental to the interests of the nation and democracy”. Senator Mushahid Hussain of PML-Q, Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman and Sheikh Rashid were of the opinion that the treason trial of Musharraf will open a Pandora’s box, and it will not be in the interest of the state to try him on treason charges. Of course, the law must be allowed to take its course, but victimisation should be avoided at all costs. The law must protect the Constitution and should not seem to have been used for taking personal revenge.