Allowing Musharraf to travel abroad is government's decision, says court

Published: March 31, 2014

A supporter of former president Pervez Musharraf holds his photograph as he shout slogans during a protest outside a special court set up to try Musharraf during a hearing in Islamabad on March 31, 2014. PHOTO: AFP

A supporter of former president Pervez Musharraf holds his photograph as he shout slogans during a protest outside a special court set up to try Musharraf during a hearing in Islamabad on March 31, 2014. PHOTO: AFP Express News screengrab of Musharraf's ailing mother in her hospital bed.

ISLAMABAD: The special court on Monday dismissed an application seeking permission for former president Pervez Musharraf to travel abroad – saying that it was not in its mandate to allow or disallow him from travelling.

Filed by Pervez Musharraf’s newly-appointed lawyer Dr Farogh Nasim on Monday morning, the application had stated that the former president needed to travel abroad to visit his ailing mother as well as to get medical treatment himself. It sought the removal of his name from the country’s Exit Control List (ECL).

Interestingly, the court dismissed the pleas saying that that it was for the government to remove Musharraf’s name from the ECL and stressed that there was no bar by the special court on Musharraf’s movement.

The order also went a step further and exempted Musharraf from further appearance before the court after Monday morning’s indictment.

The move seems to have thrown the ball in the government’s court despite the fact that government officials had been saying since the beginning of the trial that Musharraf’s travel requests were for the courts to decide on.

On Monday morning, Dr Nasim told the court that former president’s mother was seriously ill and Musharraf needed to be there with her and that the court should allow him to travel abroad and not indict him today. While the court had already rejected the request to not charge him in the morning, it had reserved its judgement on his travel plea till later.

Later in the day, Defence Minister Khwaja Asif offered to transport Musharraf’s mother from Sharjah to Pakistan via an air ambulance.

Nasim urges govt to remove Musharraf’s name from ECL

Musharraf’s lawyer Farogh Nasim on Monday evening clarified that contrary to media reports, he had not moved two applications while urging the government to remove Musharraf’s name from the exit control list since he was only nominated in a civil or criminal case.

During a press conference he said that the media had wrongly reported that Musharraf could not go meet his mother. Reading paragraph eight and nine of the court order, he said that the court had clearly directed the federal government to review its decision of including Musharraf’s name on the ECL.

“This court has not passed an order to place the name of the accused on ECL,” he read out from the order. “Therefore, the federal government cannot refuse to review its decision merely because of the pendency of the case. It is further made clear that unless an accused in custody, a criminal court cannot restrict his movement.”

He further stated that under Article 15, the freedom of movement is a fundamental right which cannot be negated and a pending civil or criminal case are not grounds enough for negating that freedom.

Nasim stated that according to the court order Musharraf was not taken into custody because he presented himself in court voluntarily.

Background

On March 29, it was reported that Musharraf’s mother, who has been in ill health for some time now, was shifted from Dubai to Sharjah’s W Wilson hospital after her condition suddenly worsened.

Earlier, Musharraf had requested permission to visit his mother, Zahra Musharraf, in Dubai despite having to be in court on March 31, 2014 for a hearing – but this request was dismissed.

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Note: This video was sent to The Express Tribune by a staff member of All Pakistan Muslim League – UAE chapter. 

Reader Comments (57)

  • Tanner
    Mar 31, 2014 - 1:19PM

    It’s sad n unfortunate day for ex-president n others. But we must be “equal” standing in front of law of the land. We all do n have done jobs as fit to our temperament n desire. And any wrong done during service, we must be ready to face music. 45-years of service, well done n you were respected n paid well. You fought 2-War’s, well it was not a favor, but your duty n you weren’t forced to select this job, you choosed this profession. Now, during this if one step outside the line should n must be ready to face law. No one is abovelaw n no one must think. Yes, some manage to escape same fate but not now. We are also sadthat your beloved mother is sick n you wish you her. Kindly, don’t forget in the past you even not allowed people to attend funerals of their loved ones. So please be brave n face the law n avoid these childess excuses.

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  • Pakistani
    Mar 31, 2014 - 2:13PM

    This is so sad that corrupt people are sitting in assemblies and our Ex- President is struggling for a trial, who is responsible for all the development done in his period.

    I think court is also corrupt. I have Pakistani courts and judges most corrupted people of Pakistan.

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  • Pakistan
    Mar 31, 2014 - 3:12PM

    @ Tanner: Dont know from which background you come from, but one thing is for sure that you are a shameless character, after reading your comment it feels that Pakistan truly dont deserve a sincere, honest and diehard country men. Shame on you and your brought up. May God give guidance to illiterate confused people like you.

    Gen Musharraf mother is a prestigious lady who gave her best to brought up such a gem and she completely deserves her son to be with her side during her critical stage. I hope our judiciary will come up with some sensible verdict.

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  • Humza
    Mar 31, 2014 - 5:43PM

    @Pakistan: What I find even more shameless is that anyone would ever wish to speak up for a general who illegally took over and ruled over the nation. Imagine if a general did this in the UK or any country where people respect the constitution. The person taking over illegally would be charged with treason but you think Musharraf deserves to be feted. You saw the 9 years of his rule bring nothing but trouble. Shame on you and your type of behaviour which feels that a serving military officer is allowed to break laws and take over whenever he wants.

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  • Ashar Pervez
    Mar 31, 2014 - 5:45PM

    @Pakistan: Ironic that you should find fault with Tanner for his saying that all are equal before law. What is wrong with you?

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  • RealBloch
    Mar 31, 2014 - 5:47PM

    Sad day for Pakistan. A die hard Pakistani nationalist who gave his life for Pakistan is abused in such a way. Shame on judiciary. Can someone ask these corrupts in Judiciary how these politicians get away so easily?

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  • Pakistani Patriot
    Mar 31, 2014 - 5:50PM

    Shameful day for Pakistan, that a general who fought for the country and served it well as its President is indicted for treason while those who looted the country and told this general to go to India while flying back to Pakistan, are sitting in the prime minister’s office and looting the country for the 3rd time.

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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Mar 31, 2014 - 5:57PM

    Musharaf is a confirmed coward but it was army’s top brass which sent him to court to save army from further embarrassment. Musharaf did his best to play hide and seek, embarrass his ex institution and insult justice system but it was army’s top brass which finished this drama abruptly. Whole nation is thankful to them on this favour. I think Musharaf will be sent abroad now. His supporters have an important task ahead and that is to find another hypocrite to lead them.

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  • shahrukhkhan
    Mar 31, 2014 - 5:59PM

    In a system where politics and government is nothing but looting and plundering, those who dare to do some goodness for country and people shall be hanged for intervening. Who in this country doesn’t know what Sharif and Zardar has done with this country but nobody will ever get a hand to them, because they are democratically licensed for doing, what they are doing.

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  • MAD
    Mar 31, 2014 - 6:02PM

    The courts have basically said that Musharraf is a free man and the government can remove his name from ECL without any guidance from the courts. The trial can continue even if Musharraf is out of the country.

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  • Khan
    Mar 31, 2014 - 6:05PM

    I agree with Tanner, don’t forget eith General was in power he didn’t allow any one to be admited into hospital for treatment, now when the tables have turned one has sought the hospital for a hiding and protective place.

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  • imran bhatt
    Mar 31, 2014 - 6:16PM

    Zero + Zero = Zero

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  • sabi
    Mar 31, 2014 - 6:17PM

    This land is not for general but generals are for this land to serve under civilian .Somewhere they have to be stoped from fooling people in the name of national interest.They are the people responsible for all kind of mess Pakistan is having for decades.They have to admitt it and apologize.Less than that is not acceptable .Ball is in his court.Go ahead if you want to go ahead Mr Musharraf

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  • Sohraab
    Mar 31, 2014 - 6:18PM

    @Tanner:
    This is such a typical comment from a man wearing blinkers!!

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  • Mar 31, 2014 - 6:19PM

    Mockery of Justice by our Justice department.No influential will ever get punishment for it’s crime as society have dual laws.Recommend

  • Mar 31, 2014 - 6:22PM

    @Tanner:
    Indeed, mockery of justice.

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  • Hammad Mian
    Mar 31, 2014 - 6:29PM

    Musharraf’s hands are colored with the Blood of lot of innocent Pakistanis. He must be given strict punishment and should be made example for others. Similarly Our corrupt Politicians including Zardari and Sharifs should be done the same.

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  • Hamid Aziz
    Mar 31, 2014 - 6:32PM

    Vey sad. There is no law for Zardari and all corrupt mafia but the man with dignity who have done lot for the nation being tried. This trial is pleasing no one but the extreme rightest of the society.

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  • unbelievable
    Mar 31, 2014 - 6:35PM

    Pretty clear that no one has the guts to actually start a trial … suggest you either grow a set or release him as this drama grows weary.

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  • Dude
    Mar 31, 2014 - 6:38PM

    This shows power and money makes you untouchable even in pakistan court

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  • JQ
    Mar 31, 2014 - 6:39PM

    Its Ping Pong ….

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  • Mamu
    Mar 31, 2014 - 6:41PM

    @Tanner:
    the court shall be man enough to punish Nawaz shareef for not letting Musharrafs plane land and Zardari the king of kings in corruption. Court cant catch them, coz they know how to dodge the court, Musharraf did not know how to dodge the court. that is his mistake.

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  • Ajab Khan Baloch
    Mar 31, 2014 - 7:09PM

    If I recall correctly, Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif were denied permission to return to Pakistan for burial of their father in Raiwind. in November 2004.
    Guess who was the Ruler at that time ;Pervez Musharaf!

    http://www.rediff.com/news/2004/nov/01pak.htm

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  • A
    Mar 31, 2014 - 7:29PM

    Very sad. Our rivals like India were afraid of Musharraf and he had a global respect for being intellectual. Nobody could ever indict charges of smallest corruption on over him. He served the army with complete commitment and kept the flag of Pakistan high. Sadly, he is now in the hands of corrupt judiciary, political maafia and paid media. This nation doesn’t deserve him though. Recommend

  • Jamal
    Mar 31, 2014 - 7:45PM

    His biggest crime is that he insulted the etire nation by ruling them force for almost 10 years. For this crime he need to be hanged 180 million times.Recommend

  • Jamal
    Mar 31, 2014 - 7:54PM

    He is responsible for allowing and facilitating foreign countries to invade afghanistan and thus creating this mess that we are in now. Not to mention the killing of thousants of Afghans and Pakistanis as the result of his decisions.Recommend

  • ADIL
    Mar 31, 2014 - 8:19PM

    Today i got extremely disappointed that a court has not ordered a death punishment to dictator Mussharaf who is solely responsible for unrest in country. He is a person who did not allowed Sharif brothers to attend the funeral of their father. And the same he did with Buggti. And, he deserves to meet the same fate. Recommend

  • fifo
    Mar 31, 2014 - 8:38PM

    Let him go. A mother is waiting for her son to come to her so that she can say her/his farewell. Two wrongs do not make right. Musharraf didn’t allow NS to bury his father then at least he has the consolation that his father died in his arms. Provide the same consolation to General. No man should be robbed of this right. Commando could have continued with the hospital drama but I think mum’s illness broke the back of the camel.Recommend

  • Grace
    Mar 31, 2014 - 8:41PM

    @Pakistani Patriot: Musharraf has shown himself to be the biggest coward. When he has the army, he finds it easy to talk big and rule as a dictator but when he has to face the music for treason he makes up every lie and hides like a woman. If Turkey can charge generals who want to take over in coups, why can’t Pakistan do the same. This now sends message that military coups will not be tolerated in a civilized country.Recommend

  • Lal
    Mar 31, 2014 - 8:41PM

    Topi drama by the coward army general.Recommend

  • A
    Mar 31, 2014 - 8:53PM

    Kangroo courts, corrupt politicians and paid media all after this patriotic manRecommend

  • Pakistani Patriot
    Mar 31, 2014 - 9:25PM

    @Grace:
    Apparently you don’t know the meaning of coward. A decorated general who fought wars for the country, whose government as president was a silver lining with growth and prosperity, who returned wilfully to Pakistan to help it despite serious threats to his life, who personally appreared in courts to face fake charges, and whose bravery even Indian generals speak of, in any fair mind is a brave hero. Yes, those who take flight from country by signing an agreement and later denying the agreement existed are cowards, and are now your prime minister and chief minister. You deserve them.

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  • Lala
    Mar 31, 2014 - 9:30PM

    This is discrimination against mohajir’s.Recommend

  • Babar
    Mar 31, 2014 - 9:42PM

    Why everybody is only focusing on Musharraf? Has NS not born from Marshalaw? Has he not attacked supreme court? Are all the rest people pious to be taken on task? Musharraf is a hero and patriot. This is his sin. He was a threat to India and now India is funding people against him. He saved Pakistan from all dangers and gave country prosperity. Now all the anti state elements are taking revenge.

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  • Khushab wala.
    Mar 31, 2014 - 9:44PM

    @Ashar Pervez:
    What is wrong with you?…it will be good if you
    can avoid being sanctimonious. Should we start
    with Nawaz,…the corruption charges if written down
    will lead a mile long trail. From bank accounts in the
    Cayman islands, Lichtenstein, Macau and Abu Dhabi.
    If the grounds are dug up at Raiwind,.. there will pots
    of currency, jewellery, gold, some diamonds and what
    not.

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  • Rex Minor
    Mar 31, 2014 - 9:49PM

    @A:

    you reckon that the President who participates in the talk shows with American comedion is a sign of an intelectual and the guy who swears allegance to the congress of a foreign country means that Pakistan flag was kept high? India will be scared of any Pakistani General who is erratic, unstable and unreliable military commander of a nuclear armed country.

    Rex Minor

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  • Pakistani Patriot
    Mar 31, 2014 - 9:52PM

    @ADIL:
    Please educate yourself before commenting here. Or your disappointment will keep multiplying. This is a special court (illegal in my opinion but regardless) that only has a mandate to decide the legality of the charges. It does not have the power to punish. By law the treason punishment is the sole right of the parliament, no one else. So the courts do not have the power to pass punishment in this case. Besides, even if it did, what court declares a verdict without even hearing the arguments of the case? Today the charges were announced, and the trial arguments only begin now. It is uninformed people like you who make such comments. And you defend Bugti, a self proclaimed murderer who died fighting Pakistani forces – I rest my case, and may God have mercy on your kind.

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  • Laughable
    Mar 31, 2014 - 9:57PM

    @ A “rivals like india was afraid of Musharraf” says who? Joke of the day did you forget kargil defeat?
    After his adventure/failure and disowning his own soldiers in kargil, he finally got sense and brought proposal to solve dispute amicably. Both countries had reached closer till the process broke down by events happening in your country.

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  • Mar 31, 2014 - 9:58PM

    I can assure you every prisoner (who might have broken the law) must have loved ones who are atleast going through a tough enough time, why should Musharaf be such an exception and those poor people lingering and their families languishing are not. and honestly, we all know musharaf removed (illegally) a democratically elected govt and many of the poor prisoners are framed and might very well be innocent

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  • Pakistani Patriot
    Mar 31, 2014 - 10:02PM

    Its obvious this government and the judges in this trial are consipiring together. The judges were appointed by the former chief justice so you can imagine. The government says it is up to the court to decide if Musharraf can go abroad to see his mother, and the court says it is up to the government. If they think they are fooling the people of Pakistan with this game they are sadly mistaken. 82% of people think this case is fake and a vendetta.

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  • Statue of justice
    Mar 31, 2014 - 10:45PM

    @pakistan, pakistani patriot ” two wrongs don’t make a right” just because zardaari and sharif committed more sins doesn’t mean you absolve the sins of Musharraf how little it may be. Btw coup,subverting democracy,kargil war,afgan war along is enough of sins to be tried in court.

    Quote “he served the nation, people against him shame on you”
    It was his duty to serve the nation,he didn’t do charity. He took the job, nobody forced him. He was paid handsomely with salary/tax benefits/land/many other benefits paid by tax payers money and enjoyed life. Anyway how does it erase his wrongdoings? Tomorrow someone kill ten people and save one life, does that mean we should turn blind eye to ten people killed because he saved one? Where did your moral conscience go?
    The statue of of Justice is blind. it weights evidence admitted in court. The system was made to exactly prevent biased judgements in favour of rich and influential and to treat everybody equal in the eyes of law. because it cannot see anybody just measures the evidence.
    Now you are the sinner who is telling the law to be biased and let go a wrong man because he served the nation. Shame on you not others who are standing up for law of justice and equality.

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  • Mirza
    Mar 31, 2014 - 10:58PM

    It is a historic day in Pakistan to prove that nobody is above the law. Mush’s supporters confuse corruption with high treason. Most powerful in Pakistan are corrupt and they must be condemned and punished. The punishment of corruption or stealing is not hanging in any country of the world. It is called a petty or white collar crime and should not be compared & confused with high treason the worst crime against the state and punishable by death. There has to be a sense of proportionality in crime and punishment. Mush is not a popular leader that is why nobody is on the streets for him.
    Taking about his services to the country is like talking about Lucifer’s services as head angel. The head angel was punished for his refusal to obey and being autocratic, arrogant and egotistic his long services were ignored by Allah. The Commando has never shown bravery or won a single war for Pakistan in his career. However, he has killed not just the constitution but 80 years old nationalist leader, and threw 60 judges and their families in indefinite detention to perpetuate his dictatorial rule.
    Nobody is looking for Mush’s blood we are not Gen Zia. All most want is to frame charges and let him out of the country and bury the ignominious past forever. He should admit his mistakes, apologize to the nation and then leave. Remember what he did to Dr. Khan, the same way he should be out of it all.

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  • A
    Mar 31, 2014 - 11:28PM

    @Laughable

    Read below link from “times of India” and laugh at yourself. It was NS who took the dictation from USA to retrieve forces from Kargil. Do you disagree that NS was the head of state?

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pervez-Musharraf-crossed-LoC-before-Kargil-war-V-K-Singh-praises-ex-Pak-army-chiefs-courage/articleshow/18290778.cms

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  • Parvez
    Mar 31, 2014 - 11:46PM

    At least its now been established that ‘ Musharraf comes first ‘.

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  • truthbetold
    Apr 1, 2014 - 12:20AM

    If Musharraf is fit to travel abroad, why is he fit enough to appear in court?

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  • Masood
    Apr 1, 2014 - 1:16AM

    @Humza:
    You are talking about breaking the constitution of Pak but right now Pak govn taking to the Taliban people for piece who does not reconise the constitution.

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  • lm
    Apr 1, 2014 - 1:43AM

    Hmmm

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  • Laughable
    Apr 1, 2014 - 1:57AM

    @ A since when did calling someone “courageous” to infiltrate enemy territory knowing he can die, equate to being afraid? Are you creating your own vocabulary? Don’t opponents praise others risky shots moves? does that mean they are afraid? Surely then all are damn afraid of sachin tendulkar as all world class players have praised him. You have some creative deluded imagination my friend. All I read in the link was that was your country started the war,suffered 1000 soldier casualties,lost war due to ” his” misadventure, at the backdrop when elected leader of your country sharif shook hands with us as aman ki asha but back stabbed us which we didn’t anticipate, waged a “war” yet we won. So much for being afraid(sarcasm)
    Surely very proud moment for you when he did such honourable act bringing glory to your country and history by going behind back of elected leaders and waging war,causing thousand casualties and loosing it. I might have laughed but soldiers loosing life’s at any side of border is not funny. Have respect for jawaans be whichever country..oops I forgot I can’t say that or I may be “afraid” right?

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  • Laughable
    Apr 1, 2014 - 1:58AM

    @ A since when did calling someone “courageous” to infiltrate enemy territory knowing he can die, equate to being afraid? Are you creating your own vocabulary? Don’t opponents praise others risky shots moves? does that mean they are afraid? Surely then all are damn afraid of sachin tendulkar as all world class players have praised him. You have some creative deluded imagination my friend. All I read in the link was that was your country started the war,suffered 1000 soldier casualties,lost war due to ” his” misadventure, at the backdrop when elected leader of your country sharif shook hands with us as aman ki asha but back stabbed us which we didn’t anticipate, waged a “war” yet we won. So much for being afraid(sarcasm).
    Surely very proud moment for you when he did such honourable act bringing glory to your country and history by going behind back of elected leaders and waging war,causing thousand casualties and loosing it. I might have laughed but soldiers loosing life’s at any side of border is not funny. Have respect for jawaans be whichever country..oops I forgot I can’t say that or I may be “afraid” right?

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  • 357
    Apr 1, 2014 - 2:19AM

    @Pakistani:
    @Pakistan: Provided he is allowed to leave, are you sure that Begum Musharraf’s ‘gem’ is going to return to face his trial? Since you have such a precise opinion about the judiciary and other lowly posters and their character / brought-up, your opinion as regards the General’s potential chickening-out will be appreciated.

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  • sohail khan
    Apr 1, 2014 - 11:19AM

    @ All commenting against Pervez Musharraf,
    Please shut up for your nonesense comments aainst an honest, patriot, intellegent leader who served very well Pakistan as an army chief and developed country as president of pakistan. We should respect such unique leader that we got by chance in a country which is abundant with corruption around.

    Yes, he did mistake by now allowing Nawaz Sharif brothers to attend funeral of his father for which Pervez Musharraf should apologise. But it does not mean that PM should retaliate it.Recommend

  • Nida Alvi
    Apr 1, 2014 - 12:26PM

    @Lala: You must be living in lalaland!! .. You need to get rid of the bad habit of giving ethnic color to everything. This is not expected from the followers of a British citizen.

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  • True Karachiwala
    Apr 1, 2014 - 4:25PM

    @Ch. Allah Daad: you are a confirmed bias person. Your comment has no value, ex-Indian army chief’s statement which endorses Musharraf’s bravery is enough for the whole world to salute this general who spent quite some time in enemy’s land during Kargil.

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  • MuslimLeaguer
    Apr 1, 2014 - 9:40PM

    Ultimately the hard-neck Musharraf bows down to the Court. He has committed crime to the nation and has to seek apology from the entire nation before he goes back to UK for the rest of his life.Recommend

  • M A Mujeeb
    Apr 2, 2014 - 2:19PM

    @Humza:
    Brother for your information, there is no written constitution in the UK. There is provision for imposing emergency in the constitution of Pakistan. In Musharraf’s case, the procedures had not been followed to impose emergency. Moreover, the constirution was held in abeyance and not abrogated. The word abeyance was added to article 6 much after Musharraf had imposed emergency and left the country.

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  • Zaka
    Apr 2, 2014 - 2:48PM

    Long live Musharraf, who is far better than the looters.

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  • Taseer Siddiqui
    Apr 2, 2014 - 4:36PM

    When did these provincial govts conduct local bodies elections. It is also breaking the constitution and these people should be tried for breaking the constitution for the last 8 years. The court should give a time table for the local bodies election, if not done they should be punished under high treason. Kawaja Asif should shut up and do some do to the poor people of Pakistan.Recommend

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