Not guilty, because the General says so

And the Pakistani military officer accused of rape did not even have to stand trial

Any accusation of rape is serious. More so, if it involves members of armed forces. Even more so if that case of rape has triggered off a major rebellion, bordering on civil war. Such a case of rape would certainly deserve very careful investigation and a open and transparent trial.

Not so in Pakistan. Before declaring the accused military officer innocent, Musharraf did not even think it necessary to put the accused on trial, military or civil. In Musharraf’s Pakistan, the word of one man should do well enough. Of course, Musharraf made brave noises about bringing justice to the guilty, and even sentencing them to death.

Right from the start, this case has been a story of cover-ups, delays and denials. When high officials, from official spokesmen to General Musharraf himself, declare that the accused officer is innocent, there is no hope of a fair trial. It does not matter if the accused is actually innocent for the manner in which his innocence was proclaimed is sufficient to demonstrate that there is no rule of law in Pakistan. Justice has not been done, was not seen to be done, or both.

And then there is the political element — Musharraf has just waved a red flag at a furious Baloch bull.

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