LAHORE - The PML-N top brass is reportedly inclined to soften its stance against former military ruler Pervez Musharraf following contacts by his wife Sehba Musharraf.

According to a confidant of the former first lady, direct and indirect contacts between Musharraf family and PML-N leadership have been going on since the government had instituted treason case.

The APML (All Pakistan Muslim League) leader, who requested anonymity, claims that Sehba was playing a role like the one played by Begum Kulsoom Nawaz after incarceration of Nawaz Sharif following October 12 coup by Musharraf. She has been in contact with many circles to get her husband off hook.

Some quarters from the military and intelligence circles were also supportive to Sehba in her venture, especially regarding her contacts with PML-N high ups, the source claimed. Her efforts appear to be bearing fruit as positive response has been passed by the PML-N side, the source added.

The source quoting Sehba Musharraf as saying that PM Nawaz, who has already evinced his mind not be vindictive against Musharraf on October 12 coup, also does not want the treason issue go too far, and he (Nawaz) during a telephonic contact not only assured Saheba about the safety of her spouse but also about her eventual release and exist.

The source claimed that both Sehba and the PM exchanged views on options including one to keep Musharraf in Pakistan to face the treason case, and let the government gradually soften its stand to pave the way for his acquittal through the Special Court.

“The prime minister is willing to show a goodwill gesture,” the source quoted Sehba as saying about her call in presence of local and foreign negotiators. “During a brief conversation, I have asked Nawaz Sharif to show a big heart as the government had shown to him in the year 2000 on contacts of Begum Kalsum Nawaz,” the source quoted Sehba as saying.

To a query, the source said, “Yes, madam also took her spouse into confidence although Musharraf was not much willing to contact Nawaz Sharif directly.” The source is of the view that in case of any deal at any level for Musharraf’s exit, the man would go to Dubai and not to Saudi Arabia or London.

A senior bureaucrat, who is close to the PM, claimed that the premier was tense over Muharraf’s treason trial after some powerful quarters took note of the issue. A reliable source in the PML-N endorsed that government does not want the treason case to drag for too long, as it may hamper their efforts to end the energy and economic crises, besides drawing attention off the terrorism and other key issues.

He also affirmed contacts between the two sides, saying they have been going on for months and in fact have gained a new impetus as is evident from the fact that Musharraf was taken to hospital on Thursday instead of being driven to the courtroom.

The source claimed that few weeks ago some ruling and opposition politicians had also contacted Musharraf and since then the situation has changed in a major way to the favour of the former iron man. A likelihood of Musharraf’s case getting a surprise turn can therefore not be ruled out, he added. Federal Information Minister Pervez Rashid, when contacted, rejected the information and said, “No such development has taken place.”