PM House terms statement ‘utterly baseless, malicious and untrue’
Former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf has claimed that ex-army chief Gen Raheel Sharif helped him leave the country by keeping the government from pressuring the courts.
Speaking during a TV talk show he said: “Well he (Raheel Sharif) did help me and I am absolutely clear and grateful. I have been his boss and I have been the army chief before him… he helped out, because the cases are politicised, they put me on the ECL, they turned it into a political issue.”
When asked to explain by the host how the recently retired army chief helped him, Musharraf responded saying by “influencing the courts”.
He elaborated: “See unfortunately one has to say it, but shouldn’t have to… our judiciary should move towards justice.”
“These courts work under pressure behind the scenes and then give decisions. The army chief had a role to play in releasing the pressure behind the scenes.”
When asked who exactly Gen (r) Sharif had to relieve pressure from, Musharraf said, “Not from the judges but from the government. The pressure the government was putting on the courts was removed.
“Once he (Gen Sharif) got the government to relieve the pressure that they were exerting, the courts gave their judgement and allowed me to go abroad for treatment,” Musharraf elaborated.
Musharraf had left the country for Dubai in March earlier this year hours after the interior ministry issued a notification to remove his name from the exit control list (ECL).
The government notification followed the Supreme Court’s order to lift the ban on his foreign travel.
But the order from the top court had come with the rider that the federal government or the three-judge special court trying the retired general for treason was free to make decisions to regulate his custody or restrict his movement.
Apart from murder cases of Benazir Bhutto, Nawab Akbar Bugti and Ghazi Abdul Rasheed, the retired general is facing treason charges for imposing emergency rule in November 2007, arresting judges and limiting their powers. His name was kept on the Exit Control List for more than 20 months.
Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan had said in March that Musharraf had committed to facing all cases against him in court and had “promised to return in four to six weeks”.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister House on Tuesday denied the comments made by former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf, reported Radio Pakistan.
The spokesperson termed the statement as utterly baseless, malicious, untrue and concocted.
Federal Minister for States and Frontier Regions (Safron) Lt-Gen (retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch on Tuesday said that Musharraf crossed all limits by making claims against former chief of army staff Gen (retd) Raheel Sharif.
“Musharraf should not have talked in such a blatant manner, even if Raheel had played a role in this issue. Musharraf should have realised the implications of this statement,” said the minister while speaking in a TV talk show.
He added that the Supreme Court should now come forward and every individual concerned should submit their clarification in this regard before the apex court.
However, Special Assistant to Prime Minister Musadik Malik rejected the statements of the former president and said that there is no truth in Musharraf ‘s statements. “Musharraf should have made this revelation when Raheel Sharif was COAS,” said Malik.
Former Supreme Court Bar president Kamran Murtaza said, “Allegations have been levelled against the judiciary, but so far the Supreme Court’s registrar office has not issued any response”.
Murtaza also said that when Musharraf was let go, it seemed that ‘certain institutions’ were backing him and the issue was being managed by them.
“I believe that he was let go to safeguard the government. An explanation should become by tonight and a full court reference should be sought on it,” added Murtaza.
He also said that if a guilty individual is not tried under Article 209 it sets a wrong precedent. The current president of the Supreme Court Bar Association, Rashid Razvi, was of the opinion that a suo moto notice needs to be taken by the court.