ISLAMABAD - The Interior Ministry on Thursday declined the request of former President Pervez Musharraf for temporary deletion of his name from Exit Control List (ECL) for travelling abroad to condole with the Saudi Royal family over the demise of King Abdullah, taking the plea that his name was placed on ECL on the direction of the Supreme Court and the government could not remove it on its own.

In the reply to the request letter of Pervez Musharraf, the Interior Ministry has cited the Supreme Court order of June 23, 2014 wherein the apex court had suspended the Sindh High Court’s earlier decision to strike off former military dictator Gen (retd) 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.

On Friday last, Faisal Chaudhry advocate had filed an application with the Interior Ministry on behalf of Pervez Musharraf seeking permission to travel to Saudi Arabia to offer condolences to Saudi Royal family over King Abdullah’s death with whom, he claimed has close brotherly relations.

Later, the matter was discussed in a high-level meeting under the chair of Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif with divergent views from his close confidants, some of them wanted him to leave while some were of the view that as the ban on his travel abroad was placed by the apex court so the government should leave the matter to the courts to decide.

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 finally landed at same page to let the matter to be decided by the apex court and the permission would only be granted to him if the there would be some explicit direction in this connection from the court.

Federal Information Pervez Rashid when asked by a journalist in a Press conference here on Thursday said that government has placed Pervez Musharraf on ECL on the direction of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and he could get his name removed from the list from the court and government on its own could not do any thing in this connection.

When the matter of Pervez Musharraf’s removal of name from Exit Control List(ECL) came before the apex court Attorney General of Pakistan(AGP) had submitted records long 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 Bugti murder case.

After going through the record the apex court on June 23, 2014 had suspended the Sindh High Court’s earlier decision of striking off Pervez Musharraf’s name from ECL.