ISLAMABAD - Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar on Thursday directed former President General (retd) Pervez Musharraf to record his statement under Section 342 of the criminal procedure code in the treason case against him.

The Chief Justice’s remarks came as he headed a Bench hearing the case related to National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO), passed by Musharraf in 2007.

As the hearing went under way, Musharraf’s counsel Akhtar Shah submitted a reply regarding the former President’s return to the country and said, “I request the Bench to keep my client’s illness confidential.”

Chief Justice Nisar, however, remarked, “There are people present in the country who are suffering with this disease.”

Musharraf’s counsel then urged, “If it is necessary for Musharraf to return then he should be allowed to visit a doctor and his name should not be placed on the Exit Control List (ECL).”

To this, the Chief Justice assured, “Let Musharraf return to Pakistan, nobody will arrest him but I cannot state anything regarding the removal of his name from ECL.”

“He should record his statement under Section 342 in the treason case,” Saqib Nisar said while adding “Dubai is not the best place for treatment and there are good doctors in Pakistan”.

Musharraf’s counsel then told the court that the former President left the country after permission from the government.

The Chief Justice, however, said, “We are stating it again, we did not grant permission to Musharraf.”

Further, he added, “We cannot put anyone’s life at risk. Musharraf should come record his statement and whenever he wants to leave for treatment he can.”

NRO case

Nominating Musharraf, Zardari and Qayyum as respondents, petitioner Feroz Shah Gilani had requested the court in April to order recovery of ‘huge amounts of public money’ misappropriated and wasted by them through unlawful means ‘already on record in different judgments of the Supreme Court and high court’.

He had contended that Musharraf subverted the Constitution by declaring emergency followed by the promulgation of the NRO, through which criminal and corruption cases against politicians, including Zardari, were “arbitrarily withdrawn”.