Let me first of all make it clear that I'm opposed to the death penalty. I shall write about this later, but the main reason is that in Pakistan and the Third World, innocent men are often executed because they cannot prove they're innocent (or because powerful people want them out of the way). Once, two brothers in Pakistan were acquitted after they'd already been hanged (the court did not know this). Many such instances have occurred throughout history.

But the conviction and death penalty for General Musharraf seems to have been done because he had imposed an emergency and arrested those lawyers and judges who opposed him. No doubt it was reprehensible, but a simple conviction (with life imprisonment) would have served the purpose. By ordering that Musharraf's corpse be dragged and hanged the judge has only diverted attention from the former dictator's excesses. The government, by favoring Musharraf, and the army, by criticizing the judgement, have both proved what we've known for a long time: that Imran Khan did not really win in the elections. But that is another subject.

The armed forces should stay out of politics. If the generals get this message, the judgement will have served its purpose. No more "selection" of prime ministers, please!