ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Tuesday made public the pardon agreement signed between former president Pervez Musharraf and the former prime minister Nawaz Sharif 11 years ago.
“Nawaz Sharif is the pioneer who introduced the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) by reaching an agreement with the former military dictator,” said Malik.
The document, which is titled ‘Confidentiality and Hold Harmless Agreement’, was signed by Musharraf, Nawaz, Shahbaz Sharif, Abbas Sharif and Hussain Nawaz on December 6, 2000. Nawaz, if the document is deemed valid, acknowledged that he had approved assistance in negotiations on his behalf for his release from incarceration.
Malik was quick to defend his move, saying that parties other than the Pakistan Peoples Party actually benefited more from the NRO. “Only five people of the PPP benefitted from the NRO,” he said.
“I’m thoroughly satisfied with the course and results of the negotiations – I also have been kept fully advised on the negotiations,” stated Nawaz in the document. An agreement titled ‘Grant of Pardon’ further stated: “The president in terms of Article 45 of the Constitution is advised to remit the sentence of imprisonment for life awarded to Nawaz Sharif by the Sindh High Court in its judgment in October 30, 2000. The president is also advised to remit the sentence for 14 years awarded to Nawaz Sharif by the accountability court at Attock Fort in its judgment on July 22, 2000.”
According to the agreement, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz chief also stated: “I had approved the gentleman’s assistance to negotiate on my behalf for my release from incarceration in Pakistan.” Nawaz, in his pardon plea, had requested the then Chief Executive General Musharraf to waive off his sentences of imprisonment to proceed abroad for medical treatment.
“I agree to stay out of Pakistan for 10 years where my residence will be the country I approved,” stated Nawaz.
According to Malik, the Sharif family has violated the agreement as they came back to Pakistan without staying abroad for the agreed 10 years.
The PML-N immediately rejected the comments, saying: “It was not a pardon agreement between Musharraf and Nawaz.”
“The Sharif family had written an apology letter to the then President Rafiq Tarrar for early release only,” said PML-N Information Secretary Mushahidullah Khan. “It’s an effort by the government not to implement the Supreme Court’s judgment on the NRO.” He also termed the agreement made public by Malik a ‘fake document’.
Malik, meanwhile, said that he was playing a dangerous game by releasing the agreement, urging the media to get in touch with his son for further documentation in case he is killed.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 11th, 2012.
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