Musharraf unlikely to return to Pakistan soon


Islamabad : Former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf, who is currently abroad, is unlikely to return home soon given the volatile security scenario in the country, his aide says.

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The aide, identified only as Shaharyar, told The News he had “no clue” as to when Musharraf would return.

Musharraf, who survived two assassination attempts while in office, is known to be on the hit list of the Taliban and several other militant organisations.

Musharraf is currently in London delivering a series of lectures and counter-terrorism and the Taliban. From there, he will go to the US and then to Europe, The News said.

The former president had visited New Delhi in March for the two-day India Today conclave. He had visited Saudi Arabia in April.

The threat perception apart, Musharraf could be charged with treason for tampering with the constitution as adequate laws exist for this, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Babar Awan said last month.

Special sessions courts existed in the country where treason cases could be heard, he said.

Anyone found guilty of sabotaging or suspending the constitution was liable for the death sentence, Awan added for good measure.

Awan’s remarks came in the wake of repeated demands to try Musharraf for treason for abrogating the constitution as it had existed in 1973.

In March, a petition was filed in the Supreme Court urging the filing of a treason case against the former president and a bar on his leaving the country. The court is yet to rule on this.

The Sindh High Court has also issued notice on a similar petition but the federal government has not yet replied to this.

“All acts by the former president were illegal and thereafter all amendments were also illegal. Musharraf and all those who supported him should be proceeded against on charges of high treason,” the petition says.

Also in March, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) chief Qazi Hussain Ahmad had demanded that Musharraf be tried for treason.

Ahmad maintained that Musharraf’s October 1999 military coup to topple then prime minister Nawaz Sharif had violated the constitution.

Then, the controversial 17th amendment the general had pushed through in 2002 was also unconstitutional.

The amendment had transferred key executive powers to the presidency from the prime minister’s office.

The emergency Musharraf had declared Nov 3, 2007, as well as a Provisional Constitutional Order that had been promulgated to overrule the statute were unconstitutional, Ahmad maintained.