ISRAR AHMED and IMRAN MUKHTAR
RAWALPINDI/ISLAMABAD - The government has rejected former military ruler General (retd) Pervez Musharraf’s application seeking removal of his name from the Exit Control List (ECL) and has formally notified him.
The Ministry of Interior, in a letter written to the former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, has said the federal government was unable to remove his name from the ECL in public interest on the basis of record pronouncements of the superior courts and pending criminal cases in various courts against him.
The letter, written by Aamir Sohail Langrah, Section Officer ECL of the Ministry of Interior, reads, “I am directed by the competent authority to communicate with you with reference to your request on the subject cited above dated March 31, 2014.”
“The requests have been considered on the basis of record pronouncements of the superior courts on the cited subject and pending criminal cases in various courts. The federal government is unable to accede to your requests in public interest.”
Independent observers view that the government has actually given a more political decision than factual one not acceding to the request of Musharraf and thus has thrown the ball again in the court of judiciary to save itself from the backlash of political opponents.
The counsel for Pervez Musharraf, Barrister Farogh Naseem has already said that they would go to the court if the government did not remove Musharraf’s name from the ECL.
Sindh High Court (SHC), last year, had put the name of Musharraf on the ECL asking him not to leave the country without getting permission from the courts concerned.
A team of the Ministry of Interior Wednesday evening visited the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC) and handed over the written orders to former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf that his name could not be excluded from the Exit Control List (ECL).
Musharraf has been facing high treason case under Article 6 of the Constitution for abrogating the constitution, imposing emergency on November 3, 2007 and detaining the judges of apex courts. A three member special court in Islamabad, headed by Justice Faisal Arab, framed charges against Mush two days ago.
According to details, during their short visit, the team of MOI, headed by Section Officer (SO) Shadab Ahmed, called on Personal Security Officer (PSO) to Musharraf, Col Ilyas and gave him the written orders of MOI regarding not excluding his name from the ECL.
The former president was brought to AFIC by the law enforcement agencies on January 2, 2014 after he complained chest pain on way to special court where he was being taken for the proceeding of the treason case filed against him by the PML-N government.
The seven-member board of senior army cardiologists headed by Surgeon General Imran Majid had examined Musharraf and later admitted him in a VVIP Cardiology Ward located on the third floor of AFIC. Usually, this ward is reserved for President of Pakistan, Prime Minister or Chief of the Army Staff.
Since then, AFIC is being guarded heavily by army commandoes, police and elite force.
Agencies add: Meanwhile, Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique on Wednesday took a swipe against the former president. The PML-N leader sarcastically said: “Pervez Musharraf keeps his one hand on his heart and the other on the hospital bed. He is found in ICU and then he attended the court hearing.” He advised the former strongman to ‘show courage, be a man and shun the acting’.
Khawaja Saad Rafique said Musharraf was being tried on court orders, not at the behest of the government. He said that the former ruler committed ‘mother of crimes’ by abrogating the Constitution time and again.
“He himself decided to enter politics, now he should face the situation,” Saad Rafique said. To a question, the minister, who earlier said the government had yet to decide on Musharraf’s exit, responded that what answer would the government offer to Sindhis and the Balochis if the former president was allowed to leave the country.
Separately, Bilal Musharraf met his father former president Pervez Musharraf at the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC) on Wednesday.
According to reports, Bilal Musharraf apprised his father of the current condition of his ailing grandmother who is under treatment at a Sharjah hospital. He remained there for some time and later left for Chak Shahzad farmhouse.
Earlier Bilal Musharraf reached the farmhouse along with half dozen protocol vehicles. After staying there for some time he left for AFIC to attend his father admitted to the facility.
The sources say he will leave for Dubai after inquiring after his father.
ISRAR AHMED and IMRAN MUKHTAR