The government and opposition parties are busy hurling accusations at each other, and unsurprisingly, Musharraf’s name was dragged into the mix once more. With only two days remaining until PTI and PAT lead the Azadi March and the Inqilab March to the country’s capital, the PML-N government has accused both parties of creating political instability in the country to facilitate Musharraf’s escape. When asked to name the people responsible for pressurizing the government to secure the ex-dictator’s release, Ahsan Iqbal very candidly pinned the blame on the oft-mentioned “hidden forces”. The APML also unanimously re-elected Musharraf as the party’s Chairman, after which Musharraf addressed his supporters through a telephonic conference and stated, in no uncertain terms, that he had no intention to run away from all the cases levelled against him.

While political analysts are left scratching their heads in their quest to determine the level of friction between the government and the military, and if Musharraf will face the music as promised by the ruling party, one question that lies ignored is whether Musharraf is still relevant to Sharif politics. The constant dilly-dallying over his appearance in court, with the bomb scares and his health problems, alongside his desire to visit his ailing mother in Dubai have led many to suspect that the proceedings against him were nothing more than a ruse designed to give the public a show of the government’s daring by putting a dictator on trial.

Gen. Musharraf does not seem fazed by this however, and has categorically promised to emerge triumphant from the legal chaos that surrounds him. His address to his supporters and re-election as the Chairman of the APML is indicative of his intentions to remain a political player in Pakistan. His statement on the Model Town incident is also consistent with a desire to remain politically relevant. The treason charges on Musharraf for subverting the constitution when the 2007 emergency was declared still stand, and the trial is likely to continue as long as the government sticks to its decision of keeping the retired General’s name on the Exit Control List (ECL). As these words are being written, Shahbaz Sharif just stated that the government will wait for the court’s decision before announcing their next move regarding Musharraf in an interview on national television. This can mean anything; that the government may or may not appeal the decision if it goes in Musharraf’s favour. For now, nobody really knows what will happen in the trial, and the Chief Minister’s coy statement may be nothing more than a way to stall a question that even the government has no answer to.