Former President General (r) Pervez Musharraf has decided to stay away from Pakistan for the time being over security concerns, a private news channel reported on Monday.
The former president conveyed his decision to close aides in Pakistan. It merits mention here that Musharraf had been ordered to appear before a special court in a high treason case filed against him in 2013.
On the other hand, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, while replying to the former president’s statement, said, “We would make all necessary arrangements for Musharraf’s security.”
“He (Musharraf) would be provided with security in accordance with the law,” the minister said. He also said that the retired general should not delay his plans to return to Pakistan over security concerns.
Meanwhile, Musharraf’s legal counsel Advocate Akhter Shah said that he did not trust the interior ministry to provide foolproof security to his client. He also said that once he was satisfied with the security arrangements, he would inform his client to return to the country.
Musharraf’s decision to postpone his visit comes at a time when news regarding the Ministry of Defence’s refusal to grant him a security protocol had been making rounds in the local media.
A letter sent to Musharraf by the ministry stated that the issue of providing security did not fall in the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Defence. Musharraf’s counsel admitted that such a letter was indeed sent to his client by the above-mentioned ministry.
An interior ministry notification issued on March 19 stated that the ministry was ready to provide a security protocol to Musharraf on the basis of a plea filed on his behalf by Advocate Shah.
On this, the counsel said that the interior ministry’s offer of providing security could not be trusted since the same ministry had in the past levelled baseless allegations against his client.
A special court hearing treason case against the former military ruler had ordered the federal government on March 16 to take all necessary steps to ensure that the former president was brought back to the country from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The court had also said in its order that the former military ruler’s arrest should be made possible by seeking help from Interpol. It had also ordered the interior minister to cancel the national identity card and passport of Musharraf.
The case which was started in 2013 revolves around the imposition of emergency in Pakistan by the former military ruler in November 2007 by showing utter disregard for the constitution.