Military leadership not hostile to legal action against Musharraf: aide

*Siddiqui says ‘few people’ want to give ex-president a safe passage *Govt denies any rift with army

ISLAMABAD – Special Assistant to prime minister on National Affairs Irfan Siddiqui has said that some people might be wishing to give a safe passage to former president Pervez Musharraf, but he would have to face the law of the land.

Talking to the BBC, he said the military leadership as a whole was not hostile to legal action against Musharraf. “Only few people, who are close associates of Musharraf, want to give him a safe passage,” he said, adding that countries cannot be run on the personal whims of a few individuals. He denied reports that the government would allow a safe passage to Musharraf to go abroad.

“No such proposal is under consideration at any government level. The legal proceedings against Musharraf are in process and he will have to face them,” the special assistant said. He also rejected statements of some political leaders about tension between the government and the army.

He also said that the August 14 Independence Day celebrations in front of the Parliament House were a non-political event. “It will be a totally non-political event, which would also be attended by heads of the armed forces,” he said. “It is not the function of a political party, as the country's political and military leadership will be present on the occasion,” he said.

Siddiqui said that the function would also be attended by diplomatic representatives, national political leaders, parliamentarians and common citizens. He rejected the statement of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan that the PML-N was organising a political rally on August 14 to counter PTI's protest rally. He said that Imran Khan had not approached the local administration for any political activity in the federal capital.

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