‘Allowing Musharraf to leave Pakistan risky’

Judgment reserved in former president’s ECL plea

KARACHI – Sindh High Court (SHC) on Thursday reserved judgment on application pertaining to removal of former president Pervez Musharraf's name from the exit control list (ECL) till May 31.

The divisional bench – comprising Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Shahnawaz Tariq – heard the case. Attorney General Afzal Suleman told the court that allowing Musharraf to leave Pakistan was highly risky. “His chances to return in Pakistan are too low. Hussain Haqqani left Pakistan and despite summon by the court, he did not return,” he added.

The attorney general said that Musharraf was indicted in the treason case and the court now could not grant him any concession. Barrister Farogh Naseem, counsel for Musharraf, said that he feared his client might be deprived of justice. Talking to the media, he exclaimed, "this is not a treason case against Musharraf; it's an abrogation of the constitution," he said.

Barrister Farogh said that treason case against Musharraf was based on ill intentions. He said that the court must deal with him the same way it deals with others listed on ECL. He also revealed that Musharraf's medical reports clearly state that he cannot be treated in Pakistan. “It is also clear from Musharraf's medical report that his backbone is fractured,” he asserted.

The counsel further said that the trial court clearly stated that Musharraf iwas free to travel. He hoped that the Sindh High Court on May 31 would order to remove name of the former president from the ECL. To a question, he said that name of any citizen cannot be put on ECL only with an administrative order.

He also said that the governor rule in Sindh was also violation of the constitution but Nawaz Sharif never charged with treason allegations. The present government also doing political crimes, he said without any reference. Earlier, the court has reserved its decision on removing Musharraf’s name from the ECL till May 31.

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