ISLAMABAD - A high-level meeting under the chair of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif could not decide on granting permission to former president General(r) Pervez Musharraf to visit Saudi Arabia to convey his condolence to Saudi Royal family over the demise of King Abdullah.

Soon after his return from Saudi Arabia, where he had attended the last rites of King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, the prime minister called a meeting to review the implementation on the National Action Plan on counter-terrorism.

Though there was no official word about the meeting from prime minister’s media office but sources confirmed to The Nation that the meeting was held and the request of General(r) Pervez Musharraf for temporarily lifting of encumbrance on his travel abroad came under detailed discussion.

The issue of former president’s request for removing his name from exit control list (ECL) came under discussion, a source in the party informed The Nation adding that the participants of the meeting had divergent viewpoint on the issue as some of them supported granting him permission to travel abroad, others said the government must let the courts to decide this matter as the case was sub judice.

The sources further said that the meeting, which was attended by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Interior Minister Ch Nisar Ali Khan, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and others, failed to decide on the matter. They said that the matter was deferred to have the input from the legal brains and in a day or so the decision on Musharraf’s request would be made.

A senior leader of All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) informed The Nation that there was no word on the application of their party head so far and hoped that government would allow Musharraf to proceed abroad to offer condolence to the Saudi Royal family.

Sources further said that there was strong possibility that the matter of lifting ECL bar on Musharraf would be left to the courts as the name of Musharraf was placed on ECL on the direction of apex court and the government could not remove his name from ECL on its own.

Government sources informed that Premier Sharif would be having another consultative meeting in Lahore today (Sunday) and hopefully the final word from the government on the matter would come by Monday.

While reviewing progress on the implementation of National Action Plan(NAP), the prime minister directed finance ministry to make available funds to fulfil the requirements so that no impediment comes in the way of swift implementation of NAP. The PM was given briefed on the steps taken by various ministries for implementation of NAP and the way forward on placing the special trial courts on ground at the earliest.

Agencies add:  The interior ministry delegated the authority to PM to take a decision regarding Mushrraf’s plea seeking permission to travel to Saudi Arabia.

 The PM had reportedly started consultation with the foreign ministry to make a decision in this regard.

On Friday, Faisal Chaudhry advocate had filed an application with interior ministry on behalf of Pervez Musharraf seeking permission to travel to Saudi Arabia to condole the death of Saudi king and meet his family members.

The former president is currently having his name placed in the exit control list (ECL). The office of the attorney general of Pakistan (AGP) on October 1, 2014 had submitted records along with court orders in Supreme Court against Musharraf in six different cases, including Lal Masjid case, Benazir Bhutto murder case, judges’ detention case and Nawab Akbar Bughti murder case.

The Supreme Court on June 23, 2014 had suspended the Sindh High Court’s earlier decision to strike off former military dictator Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf’s name from the ECL. The federal government had filed an appeal against Sindh High Court’s (SHC) decision to remove the former president’s name from ECL.