Apex court lifts travel ban on Musharraf

Upholds SHC ruling; Name to be struck off ECL

Staff Reporter

Islamabad—The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the removal of former president Pervez Musharraf’s name from the Exit Control List, allowing him to travel abroad for medical treatment.
Interior Ministry had placed Musharraf’s name in Exit Control List on April 5, 2013.
The larger bench of the Supreme Court upheld the decision of Sindh High Court. The SHC had allowed the former president to travel abroad but the Interior Ministry challenged the decision in the apex court.
“As of this date, there are no restrictions on Pervez Musharraf from travelling out of the country,” his lawyer Farogh Naseem told reporters outside the apex court.
Musharraf, 70, is facing a number of high profile cases, including murder and high treason. He was indicted for treason last year over his imposition of emergency rule in 2007.
Musharraf’s lawyers have said that he needs the travel ban to be lifted so he can go abroad for medical reasons.
According to sources, preparations have been started for Musharraf’s departure from the country.
Ahmed Raza Kasuri on Wednesday said Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf’s foreign visit will be finalized in the next day or two and that he will either leave for Dubai or London in his first trip abroad in years.
Kasuri, who is part of Pervez Musharraf’s legal team, said in his opinion he will undertake a foreign trip as soon as possible following the Supreme Court’s orders for removal of his name from the Exit Control List. He said Musharraf will take a normal flight to travel abroad.
Ahmed Raza Kasuri said both Dubai and London are the destinations where Pervez Musharraf can get the medical treatment he requires.
A five-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Anwar Zaheer Jamali, while hearing a pending federal government appeal against a 2014 Sindh High Court order removing Musharraf’s name from the ECL, upheld the ruling.
The government’s appeal was rushed through by the government on June 14, 2014 on the apprehension that once Musharraf left the country, he may not return to stand trial under Article 6 of the Constitution.
On June 23, 2014, the apex court had suspended the SHC judgment until it decided the pending appeal, and also formulated a set of questions to determine whether Musharraf could be allowed to leave Pakistan.
The five-member bench gave the order after hearing the arguments of Attorney General Salman Aslam Butt, the petitioner representing the federal government, and Barrister Farogh Nasim, Musharraf’s counsel.
“For reasons recorded separately, the [federal government’s] appeal has been dismissed,” the order said. However, the order will not preclude the federal government and special court’s proceedings against him under Article 6 from passing any appropriate legal order for regulating his custody or movement, it said.

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