The former military strongman, Musharraf –out of the country for treatment purposes for the perpetual pain in his back– who is a declared absconder in many cases, will experience another pain. This time the dictator, the war criminal as many call him for his collaboration with Bush and Blair in Afghanistan war, will face another challenging situation as his diplomatic passport is going to expire soon.

It seems the government wants to avail the opportunity to torment him further as confirmed by the general secretary of All Pakistan Muslim League (APML), Muhammad Amjad, that his party leader was facing difficulties in the renewal of passport. It is evident that the government wants to annoy the former strongman from the bureaucratic process.

Musharraf holding a diplomatic passport under Pakistani rules, free to travel all over the world without any hindrance is the irony most of developing countries suffer from. Musharraf is not an exception to the long list of dictators who go unpunished for their crimes and enjoy comfortable and luxurious lifestyle once ousted from power.

Though the rules allow all presidents to have a lifetime entitlement to have a diplomatic passport, Musharraf abrogated the constitution to usurp power. Although he, through a constitutional amendment known as Legal Framework Order (LFO), made all his extra-constitutional measures legal, he by no means was a legitimate ruler of the country. Thus in the first place to uphold the rule of law and spirit of the democratic process no such person should be issued a diplomatic passport that is guilty of high treason and suspending the constitution of the state.

Nonetheless, it is far from clear if the government just wants to delay issuing Musharraf a diplomatic passport or denying him one for he is facing numerous cases pending in different courts of the country. He has been declared absconder in cases including murder cases of former Prime Minister Benazir and Baloch nationalist leader Akbar Bugti, Lal Masjid operation, high treason and detaining the judges of superior judiciary.

The government should deny any such request Musharraf makes from abroad. The dictator, boasting many a time for being a brave lad, should come back to Pakistan if he wants to renew a passport. He should go through all the processes that any citizen of Pakistan is supposed to undertake. Since cases against him are yet to be decided, the government should ensure that he faces all the charges pressed against him.