Musharraf cut deal with govt, says aide

Published: March 20, 2016
Email
A file photo of former president Pervez Musharraf. PHOTO: AFP

A file photo of former president Pervez Musharraf. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI / HYDERABAD / ISLAMABAD: 

A close aide to General (retd) Pervez Musharraf has claimed that travel restrictions on the former military ruler were lifted as a result of an ‘off-shore deal’ struck with the government.

The claim by Ahmad Raza Kasuri, the chief coordinator of the All Pakistan Muslim League (AMPL), negates the government’s version that Musharraf’s name was struck off the Exit Control List (ECL) in compliance with the Supreme Court orders.

Musharraf is facing a slew of court cases on different charges, including high treason for subverting the Constitution in 2007. He flew to Dubai Thursday morning after the government lifted international travel restrictions on him. A day earlier, the top court directed the government to remove Musharraf’s name from the ECL.

Nawaz meets top military brass amid Musharraf departure

“At 2.00 am on Thursday, my phone rang. It was General Sahib [Musharraf] on the line. General Sahib took me into confidence and shared details of the agreement [struck with the government] before his departure,” Kasuri told The Express Tribune.

As a first step towards its implementation, Attorney General for Pakistan Salman Aslam Butt did not argue against the Supreme Court order for lifting travel restrictions on Musharraf, according to Kasuri. The agreement also envisages the government will wrap up the treason trial, he said. “I will disclose contents of the deal at an appropriate time,” said Kasuri when pressed for details.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said on Thursday that the government removed Musharraf’s name from the ECL in compliance with the Supreme Court orders. “He [Musharraf] has been allowed to travel abroad for medical treatment. His lawyers have committed before the apex court that he will return after four to six weeks,” Nisar told the media.

Musharraf’s name was put on the ECL after he returned to Pakistan in 2013, hoping to lead his party in the general elections. He was, however, disqualified from contesting the polls and found himself fighting an array of charges relating to his time in power from 1999 to 2008.

A senior government official said the three-judge special court trying Musharraf for treason would continue proceedings in absentia. The court has already indicted Musharraf, and there is no need for his presence in the court anymore, he added. “The special court can record his statement through a video link, if he reneges on his commitment to come back.”

PPP protests govt’s decision to let Musharraf depart

Senator Farogh Nasim, who is Musharraf’s lead counsel in the treason trial, refused to comment on this issue. However, Kasuri ruled out ‘trial in absentia’. “This cannot be a viable option in such high-profile cases,” he said.

Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah has said that if the court issues Musharraf’s arrest warrants, then he would be brought back through Interpol. “The court has not ordered putting Musharraf’s name on the ECL in any case,” he said.

The special court indicted Musharraf in 2014 for promulgating emergency and suspending the Constitution before sacking top judges, including the then chief justice of Pakistan.  According to Article 6 of the Constitution, Musharraf can be sentenced to death or life in prison if he is convicted of treason.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Peoples Party supporters staged ‘Go Nawaz Go’ rallies in several cities of Sindh on Saturday to protest the government decision to strike Musharraf’s name off the ECL.

“The federal government is passing the buck to the judiciary for allowing Musharraf to go abroad,” said provincial information adviser Maula Bux Chandio, who led a rally in Hyderabad. “This is contemptuous for a constitutional institution [such as the judiciary].”

He blamed the PML-N government for lifting international travel restrictions on Musharraf. “It seems the honeymoon period of the Nawaz government is over now,” said Chandio. “Earlier it was powerless but now it has become restless.”

PPP lawmakers will also protest the government decision during a Sindh Assembly session on Monday.  Sources said the PPP may move a resolution in the assembly against the government’s decision. In this connection, a parliamentary party meeting has been convened at the Chief Minister House on Sunday to devise a plan.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 20th, 2016.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (15)

  • sabi
    Mar 20, 2016 - 10:50AM

    haha…this man miserably failed to relieve his client of any trouble facing courts and was ultimately kicked out of the legal team and now! he is talking like tees mar khan.Recommend

  • javed Ali
    Mar 20, 2016 - 11:22AM

    PPP government was the first one who made a deal with Musharaf. They were in power for 5 years and did not do anything. Anyone but PPP cannot cry over this. Recommend

  • Adnan
    Mar 20, 2016 - 11:29AM

    What does Mr.Nisar have to say about this?Recommend

  • GS@Y
    Mar 20, 2016 - 11:58AM

    This is Musharraf’s petty parting shot: embarrassing the Nawaz Government once he’s safely out of the country. Recommend

  • Xnain
    Mar 20, 2016 - 12:48PM

    @GS@Y:
    Its rather opposite. If he were so sure of his innocence, he wouldn’t have cut any deal in the first place. So all this health drama and then such deal actually indicates that Nawaz has even the score with Mushi. BTW Mushi forgot to chant ,”Thank you Raheel Sharif”.Recommend

  • azmat
    Mar 20, 2016 - 4:24PM

    Everyone knows he is speaking the truth but if Mr Musharraf took him in to confidence, was he suppose to disclose it in pubic? Or is he just trying o embarrass the N league but the embarrassment will be mutual, both for N league and MusharrafRecommend

  • Jibran
    Mar 20, 2016 - 4:42PM

    One thing we are sure of is that Akram Sheikh made millions out of it. Recommend

  • Jibran
    Mar 20, 2016 - 4:49PM

    @javed Ali:

    PPP government was the first one who made a deal with Musharaf.

    This is factually incorrect. It was Sharif brothers who made this first deal with Musharraf, that let them to go from Landhi jail to Saroor Palace with 40 suitcases. Yes, the same 40 suitcases that Alhamd-o-Lillah allowed Hussain Nawaz to buy scores of properties in London. Recommend

  • NHA
    Mar 20, 2016 - 10:39PM

    There is no deal. It is time to calm down and sort things out in the best interest of development and progress. It is the collective responsibility of political, military and judiciary leadership to pull the country out of the mess which they all created. It is the right decision under the circumstances.

    PPP is duplicitous and hypocritical. Zardari first burst against the military leadership, then sought forgiveness, and, when rebuffed, now trying to embarrass the government, military ad judiciary. Just trying to be clever. Recommend

  • observer
    Mar 21, 2016 - 12:02AM

    Ha! the brave commando who was too sick to travel to the court is fit enough to travel thousands of miles. Proves that there is nothing wrong with his health. Even if there is something wrong, why couldn’t he seek treatment right here in Pakistan like all common people have to do?

    Now, he is gone forever to UK to enjoy the $250 Million he has stashed in foreign banks.Recommend

  • Humza
    Mar 21, 2016 - 2:48AM

    @Jibran: Imagine how many suitcases of loot Musharraf has that has allowed him to rule like a dictator for 9 years, run away from the country and go abroad for health care. More than 40 suitcases of loot I am sure ! Musharraf deserved to be charged and kept on jail. He shamed the whole country but most importantly he shamed the military. It took Kayani and finally Raheel Sharif to finally regain the respect for a professional soldier and not be an opportunist and self serving braggart like Musharraf.Recommend

  • Shahid Butt
    Mar 21, 2016 - 12:43PM

    So all the agencies and institutions are dealers Recommend

  • Assad
    Mar 21, 2016 - 8:18PM

    There was no case to start with. All nonsense and hogwash as if you can hold the leader of the country accountable for every law enforcement action (Bugti, Lal Masjid etc.) that takes place in the country. If we went down this road then none of the operations against the TTP would have been possible as Nawaz Sharif and the Army Chief would be making rounds of the courts all over Pakistan.

    On the issue of treason, Musharraf has a tactical and legal trump. While one can say morally he was on the wrong side for taking over from a popularly elected government, but all of the post take-over legal cover leaves little room for his prosecution.

    In the end, there was nothing to stick on Musharraf and all the cases have shown the same. Musharraf’s time in leadership for the most part was productive so most citizens of Pakistan could care less if he leaves or stays and is not punished. There have been far bigger and more serious cases of betrayal and deceit in this country.Recommend

  • pervaiz
    Mar 21, 2016 - 8:51PM

    @Jibran:
    will Musharaf was blind when suitcases were being loaded in plane at Islamabad airportRecommend

  • kahloon
    Mar 22, 2016 - 8:50PM

    two gains has been done in this escape first he survives the case and second he has sink the pml n polticaly this punjab party will not come in power musharaf deal is a black mark for this party.Recommend

More in Pakistan