ISLAMABAD - The PPP-led federal government Tuesday opened another political front with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) when one of his trustworthy leaders, Interior Minister Rehman Malik made public the agreement signed between former president Pervez Musharraf and two-time former prime minister Mian Nawaz Sharif in 2000.

The agreement, as a result of which then chief executive of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf pardoned Nawaz Sharif, had paved the way for the safe departure of Sharif brothers to Saudi Arabia, reveal the documents available with TheNation.

Interior Minister also distributed the copies, among media persons, of the agreement along with the application signed by Nawaz Sharif, his brothers Mian Shahbaz Sharif as well as Mian Abbas Sharif and his son Hussein Nawaz seeking pardon from then President of Pakistan. In the application, Nawaz Sharif as petitioner No1 along with three other petitioners has appealed to the president to waive off the sentences of his imprisonment to enable him to proceed abroad for medical treatment. All the petitioners in it have also requested that they might not be prosecuted in respect of any alleged past conduct.

Two separate agreements each titled “Confidentiality and Hold Harmless” had been signed by Nawaz Sharif and his younger brother incumbent Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on December 2 and December 5, 2000 simultaneously.

The agreement signed by Nawaz Sharif says “I, the undersigned, hereby agree that I will not engage in any business or political activities or any other activities of any nature whatsoever against the interests of Pakistan or relating to my incarceration in Pakistan for a period of 10 years”. It says, “Further, I the undersigned agree to stay out of Pakistan for 10 years where my residence will be the country I approved, but I will be able to travel on the condition I will come back to my residence of stay”. Shahbaz Sharif has also signed the other agreement having the same text.

Malik disclosed all the details to reporters at Cabinet Block after attending a meeting held to review implementation process of Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan Package. Malik termed this pardon agreement as the first ‘NRO’ created by Nawaz Sharif after reaching an agreement with the former military dictator. “PML-N Chief Nawaz Sharif is criticising the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) but deliberately ignoring the ‘NRO’ he had signed with Musharraf to escape imprisonment,” he said.

The minister said that political parties other than Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) took more advantage of NRO as only five people of the party benefited from it. He further said that the ordinance was initiated during Musharraf regime and cleared by cabinet of former prime minister Shaukat Aziz and was approved by the military as well.

Raising some questions what he termed that these would clarify the difference between both the NROs, he asked Sharif if it was not true that the NRO promulgated by Pervez Musharraf was not person-specific but many political leaders and workers benefited from it?

The minister asked the PML-N leader why did he not raise any objection when he himself returned to Pakistan from exile as a result of the NRO?

“Can Sharif explain to the nation the legality and morality of this NRO signed by both Sharifs with Pervez Musharraf for their personal gains and not for the sake of national interests,” he said. Is this NRO not person-specific which even did not include his own close aides who were also in jails for being part of his politics?

Interior minister disclosed he wanted to produce more facts before the masses that Benazir Bhutto had rejected the draft of NRO when it was presented to her. Later, former US Secretary of State persuaded her to accept the same to hold elections in Pakistan, he said adding, that he would reveal more facts on the matter today.

The minister also said that he was receiving life threats and he had handed over some evidence against so many people including Nawaz Sharif to his son Barrister Ali.