Maulvi Mushtaq Hussain

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Maulvi Mushtaq Hussain was a Pakistani jurist who served as chief justice of the high court of Lahore. He presided over the trial of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, during the proceedings in the Pakistani high court. In September 1977, two months after Gen Zia toppled the Bhutto regime in a military coup earlier in July, the three-year-old FIR of the Kasuri murder was dug out and used as a pretext to arrest Bhutto. However, Bhutto was released after a judge, Justice KMA Samadani, found the evidence to be contradictory and incomplete.

Three days later the Zia government again arrested the ousted Prime Minister. This time the arrest was made on the testimonies given by five members of the FSF, including its head. One of the men, however turned hostile against the prosecution and accused the police and the dictatorship of ‘extracting false testimonies (from the FSF members) under torture’.

Nevertheless, the trial that ran for five months and was headed by a staunch anti-Bhutto Lahore High Court judge, Maulvi Mushtaq, sentenced Bhutto to hang.

Though enough evidence has been provided by various authors and legal experts on the controversial and lopsided nature of the trial, very few know that the act of digging out an old murder FIR lodged against Bhutto was actually done as a last-ditch effort to implicate the fallen prime minister.