BIRMINGHAM: Former military ruler Pervez Musharraf has said that graft cases against slain PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto and her spouse Asif Zardari in Switzerland’s courts were not proven.
In an exclusive interview with Daily Express, Musharraf revealed that a letter was also written to Swiss authorities during his regime showing displeasure at the lengthy trial.
He said the rounds of negotiations he held with Benazir Bhutto were always one-on-one.
He said people on TV talk shows make noises about NRO and talk incessantly about the deal even though they know nothing about the facts.
Replying to a question, he said his meetings with Benazir Bhutto in Abu Dhabi used to span three to four hours, and they were always one-on-one. Rehman Malik accompanied the PPP leader but did not participate in the negotiations.
He recalled that when in the first round of talks Benazir asked for abolition of 58-2 (b) “I refused point blank”. He said when talking about the cases instituted against her during Nawaz Sharif government, Benazir used to become misty-eyed.
The ex-president said that the cases against Benazir Bhutto and Asif Zardari were neither proved in Swiss courts nor in Pakistan’s, while both were acquitted in many cases.
He said he had written to the Swiss courts that their performance was even worse than Pakistani courts as they failed to decide the cases, “but the fact of the matter is that there was nothing in those cases”.
Precisely for this reason, Musharraf continued, he presented details of his talks with Benazir before his political friends, including Chaudhry Shujaat and Pervaiz Elahi. Among the points he presented included ending of cases against Benazir Bhutto and her spouse and setting aside the bar on becoming prime minister a third time.
The Chaudhry brothers, he said, reacted by saying that the cases be dropped but the bar on third-time premiership should stay or the Q league would lose elections.
Meanwhile, Interior Minister Rehman Malik has said there used be a concluding session on both sides after the meetings between Benazir and Musharraf and follow-ups by the nominees of General Musharf “and me in Dubai and London based on the minutes of the meetings drafted by Benazir and myself”.
All discussions were (focused) on transition to democracy.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 4th, 2010.