With an on-going treason case against former President Pervez Musharraf, he has been granted a diplomatic passport despite a declared absconder. While he is certainly entitled to a diplomatic passport as an ex head-of-state, the question had become highly politicised and controversial. Therefore the revelation that he has already received the passport without much fanfare has certainly come as a surprise

It is a wonder how in matters of grave importance, institutions start deflecting responsibility and urge for others to be held accountable. The FO Spokesman Dr Muhammad Faisal, when asked about the matter, said that he did not know and would look into the matter. This is the FO we are talking about. No case should go unnoticed especially if it involves matters concerning the security of the country.

This is a huge blunder on part of the sitting government of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PMLN). For months, it was being speculated that the former premier would have to return to the country for renewal of his travel documents. It was also mentioned how the help of Interpol would also be sought to bring him home. If the government held on to his application for two months, this was the time period to work on a framework to get President Musharraf back home. The concern of the Ministry of the Interior was that refusing a renewal could also backfire and result in Musharraf blaming the government for stopping his return to the country. While this concern stands true, granting him a diplomatic passport is still a matter quite baffling and insidious.

Granting a diplomatic passport requires the authentication and approval of both, the FO and the Ministry of the Interior. The fact that both major organs involved are absolutely clueless as to who gave the green signal to the issuance of such a document shows extreme negligence and mismanagement, which can prove to be highly disadvantageous for the country. These are matters of high priority which the assigned persons should know about. The FO has no documentation about the matter and this should be looked into. The mere convenience with which influentials can just surpass the required checks and balances of the system should be a cause of concern. The travel document issued grants a lot of immunities and might just be the key to not returning to Pakistan. Both, the FO and the Interior Ministry, are short of time because they must produce the official responsible for this treason.