ISLAMABAD - The ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, after extensive arguments, finally decided to go by the book while dealing with the issue of deletion of former military dictator Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf’s name from the exit control list(ECL).

The meeting which continued for over two hours with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the chair on Tuesday finally reached the conclusion that any safe passage given to Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf at this juncture would cause an enormous damage to the future politics of the party.

However, the matter was left to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to reach some final conclusion in the light of the deliberations of the meeting and his expected consultations with other stakeholders soon, a source privy to the developments revealed.

A PML-N central leader who was among the participants of this crucial meeting disclosed that, initially, a few divergent points emerged as some of the senior party leaders were of the view that the government should move forward and, instead of getting entangled in the issue, remove Musharraf’ name from ECL so that he could fly out to see his ailing mother.

The meeting, with a one-point agenda of Musharraf’s plea for deletion of his name from the ECL, was attended by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, federal ministers, Kh Muhammad Asif, Ch Nisar Ali Khan, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Pervaiz Rashid, Ahsan Iqbal, Leader of Opposition in KP Assembly Sardar Mehtab Khan Abbasi and others.

The three-member Special Court indicted the former military dictator in the high treason case on Monday. However, passing remarks on his application for removal of his name from the ECL, the court held Musharraf’s name was not placed on the ECL on its direction, so he should approach an appropriate forum for deletion of his name from the said list.

Barrister Faroqh Naseem, the newly appointed counsel of Pervez Musharraf, following the special court ruling, moved an application with the Interior Ministry to remove his name from the ECL.

In media interaction on Monday evening, Naseem said that in case the Interior Ministry did not remove his client’s name from the ECL, he would move the high court against the decision.

Sources in the government informed The Nation that the Ministry of Interior would not entertain the request of the former military dictator and once again push the matter to the courts to avoid negative fallout of the whole matter on the political image of the party.

Meanwhile, another meeting called by Premier Sharif on the national security was deferred due to the extension of the party’s meeting beyond scheduled time, a source in the Prime Minister’s Secretariat noted.