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Proclamation of Emergency: witness refuses to confirm authenticity of documents

The defence counsel on Thursday completed cross-examination of two witnesses. A three-member Special court of Justice Faisal Arab, Justice Tahira Safdar and Justice Yawar Ali was hearing a high treason case against former army chief and President Pervez Musharraf. During the course of proceedings, two witnesses from the Cabinet Division recorded their statements.

They were Section Officer Kaleem Ahmed Shahzad and retired Deputy Secretary (Ministerial Wing, Cabinet Division) Siraj Ahmed. Kalim Ahmed Shahzad produced the original documents relating to purportedly proclamation of 3 November, 2007 emergency in the country that were purportedly signed by Pervez Musharraf but refused to confirm the authenticity of documents in response to a defence counsel's question.

Recording his statement, Shahzad said that an officer of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) came to his office on December 4 last year and demanded relevant documents, including a verified copy of the proclamation of emergency and the letter sent by President's House Secretariat. "I was working in the Cabinet Division as Deputy Secretary and on December 4, 9 and 19, 2013. I was asked by the Additional Director FIA Khalid Rasool for certain documents," Siraj Ahmed told the court. The documents, he continued, contained a certified copy of Proclamation of Emergency rule by the then Chief of the Army Staff (CoAS) on November 3, 2007 which was delivered to FIA; and the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) No 1 Amended was signed by Musharraf on November 14, 2007. The third document was endorsed by the Cabinet secretary while the fourth Oath of Judges' Offices was signed by Musharraf himself, he said. Responding to a prosecution's question, Siraj stated that the four documents were delivered to Director FIA with the approval of Cabinet Secretary.

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