PM Gilani's promise to prosecute former President Musharraf in case of a unanimous resolution by Parliament has been rightly interpreted by many as government's disinclination to initiate proceedings against him under Article 6 of the Constitution. Mian Nawaz Sharif has termed this an attempt to protect the former military ruler. Former President SCBA Aitzaz Ahsan has maintained that after the July 31 Supreme Court judgement, it is not binding on the government to take the matter to Parliament and it is within its right to straightaway get a case of high treason registered against him. So far the only defence offered for the government's hesitation is by Federal Minister Khurshid Shah who says the action could open a Pandora's Box as the former President is likely to rope in those who assisted him. While Musharraf mentioned in the November 3 order that he had been discussing the situation, which justified the action at a number of forums, he did not specifically say the decision was taken at any of these forums. As he was the COAS at the time, discipline required that the armed forces carry out his orders even if they disagreed with them. It can thus be maintained that he alone bore the responsibility for imposing the emergency. Those who demand Musharraf's trial maintain that unless Article 6 of the Constitution is invoked, military adventurers would not be deterred from overthrowing elected administrations in days to come. Failure to indict Musharraf would indicate that civilian governments continue to lack the will to bring coup-makers to justice and Parliament is spineless and ineffectual. Lack of action would turn out to be demoralising as it would again show that while elected civilian leaders overthrown in coups can be dragged to courts and humiliated before being hanged or exiled, those in uniform despite violating the Constitution remain exempt from punishment determined for them in the basic law. While Mian Nawaz has assured the government his party opposes any unconstitutional change in the set-up and warned of strong public sentiment against the former President. There is a need to heed the wake-up call. On Sunday, Baloch leader Shahzain Bugti held Musharraf responsible for the promotion of the secessionist sentiment in the province. Instead of leaving the issue of Musharraf's future to the street power or the courts, the government should itself get the case registered. The courts should then decide it on merit so that justice should not only be done but also seem to have been done.