LAHORE - The controversy about an agreement for providing safe exit to former president General (Retd) Pervez Musharraf after his resignation in 2008 put the former PPP coalition partners in a difficult situation to take a direct position over the revelations made by ex-PM and former information minister.

Ex-PM Yousuf Raza Gilani and former federal information minister Qamar Zaman Kaira in surprising revelation said that Musharraf left the country after stepping down from his office in 2008 as a result of a verbal understanding among all the PPP coalition partners and opposition party PML-N.

Initially, the revelation was made by Yousuf Raza Gilani, which was seconded by Qamar Zaman Kaira with some modifications, while the former PPP coalition partners and PML-N reacted to the statements with rebuttal and strong criticism for involving them in this connection.

When contacted, ANP central spokesman Zahid Khan said, “It was Former president spokesman Farhatullah Babar not Qamar Zaman Kaira who had participated in the PPP coalition partners meeting concerning Musharraf’s impeachment.”

“The ANP seconds the statement of Farhatullah Babar in this connection, while Kaira’s version, who was not in the picture relating to coalition partners discussions over Musharraf impeachment or his exit, was completely false.” Snubbing the two senior PPP leaders, he said, “The PPP should not involve its former coalition partners into its personal infighting.”

However, another senior ANP leader, Haji Adeel when reached, said, “The ANP would take a position over this controversial matter when the PPP leaders come up unanimous over the statement made by Gilani and Kaira.”

He said, “The PPP should not drag her former coalition partners into an issue on which they were giving rebuttals for the controversial revelations of their own leaders.”

MQM Deputy Convene Engineer Nasir Jamal said, “The PPP government had come into power as a result of international guarantees and it had also made promises for getting power.” However, the MQM was not involved in any purported agreement to give safe exit to Musharraf.

Another MQM leader Wasim Akhtar said, “The MQM had no connection with any formula concerning providing safe exit to Musharraf.”

He claimed, “Instead of the MQM, the PML-N was on board regarding the matter as its top leadership was holding meetings with the PPP high command in Murree for a power sharing formula, while the issue of Musharraf in 2008 should be the headache of the PPP and PML-N and not the MQM.”