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Musharraf leaves Pakistan after travel ban lifted

Paramilitary soldiers leaves the residence of former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf in Karachi on March 18, 2016. Pakistan's former military ruler Pervez Musharraf left the country early Friday, a day after the Supreme Court lifted a ban on him travelling abroad, airport sources confirmed to AFP. / AFP / STR

Paramilitary soldiers leaves the residence of former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf in Karachi on March 18, 2016.<br />Pakistan’s former military ruler Pervez Musharraf left the country early Friday, a day after the Supreme Court lifted a ban on him travelling abroad, airport sources confirmed to AFP. / AFP / STR

Pakistan’s former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, who faces charges of treason and murder, left the country early Friday for what his lawyers said was urgent spinal care after a three-year travel ban was lifted.

Musharraf boarded an Emirates flight bound for Dubai that departed from Karachi airport at 3.55 am (2255 GMT) an airport source told AFP, adding the retired general appeared “relaxed”.

A local party spokesman in Karachi said later Friday that he had landed in Dubai and reached his residence, where he will stay for some weeks before seeking an appointment with doctors in the United States.

Lawyers for the former president, who is facing multiple charges including treason and murder over the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, have said he needs urgent medical treatment not available in Pakistan.

“I am going abroad for treatment but will return to face the cases against me,” a party spokesman in Karachi quoted him as saying. “I am a commando. I love my motherland.”

“Six to eight weeks are required for the treatment and then he would go back home,” said Dr Amjad Malik, a spokesman for Musharraf’s All Pakistan Muslim League party in Dubai.

But analyst Hasan Askari told AFP Friday the chance of Musharraf coming back was “minimal”, adding that his return could cause problems for the government and embarrass the military.

“In order to defuse the conflict, the government agreed to let him go,” he said.

Musharraf was banned from leaving Pakistan in March 2013 after he returned to the country on an ill-fated mission to contest elections.

The former ruler was barred from taking part in the polls and instead faces a barrage of legal cases.

In January, Musharraf was acquitted over the 2006 killing of a Baloch rebel leader Nawab Akbar Bugti.

But four cases against him remain — one accusing him of treason for imposing emergency rule, as well as those alleging the unlawful dismissal of judges, the assassination of opposition leader Bhutto and a deadly raid on Islamabad’s radical Red Mosque.

Bhutto’s son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, leader of her Pakistan People’s Party, vowed to launch country-wide protests against the government for allowing Musharraf to travel.

– Police decoy –
Last June, the Sindh High Court lifted Musharraf’s travel ban, but the federal government, headed by his long-time rival Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, appealed the verdict.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the Sindh High Court decision and ordered the government to allow Musharraf to travel.

“Today, lawyers of General Musharraf filed a proper application and in the light of the Supreme Court decision, the government has allowed him to go abroad for medical treatment,” Pakistan’s Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan confirmed Thursday.

Musharraf’s lawyers have provided guarantees he will return to Pakistan in six weeks and pledged he will appear in court for several ongoing cases against him, Khan said.

A large convoy of police and paramilitary rangers left Musharraf’s home in Karachi around 3.30 am Friday as a decoy to waiting media crowding his street, while the general travelled to the airport separately.

Musharraf ousted Sharif from power in 1999 in a bloodless coup and ruled Pakistan until democracy was restored in 2008.

He has been under house arrest in Karachi while the cases have ground through Pakistan’s notoriously slow legal system, lurching from adjournment to adjournment with little clear progress apart from the granting of bail.

Analysts had previously said they believe the government lacks the will to offend Pakistan’s powerful military by pushing for Musharraf’s prosecution.



3 Comments
  • vic

    AS USUAL, THIS MAN IS ALSO A THIEF.

    WHO IS SPONSORING HIS LUXURY WORLD TRAVEL AND HIGHLY COSTLY MEDICAL TREATMENT IN THE USA- ALL IN DOLLARS???????????

    HE COULD HAVE RECEIVED THE SAME OR A BETTER MEDICAL TREATMENT FROM DOCTORS AND SURGEONS IN HIS NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOR COUNTRY, INDIA OR EVEN IN CHINA, AT 1/6TH THE USA PRICE . ALSO, HE COULD HAVE TRAVELED THERE BY A WEEKLY TRAIN FROM PAKISTAN TO INDIA OR BY A BUS TO CHINA TO SAVE FURTHER COSTS. AFTER ALL HIS MEDICAL TREATMENT WAS NOT SO URGENT, APART FROM THE FACT THAT ALL THESE LOOTERS WANT TO FLEE THEIR COUNTRIES TO ENJOY THEIR LOOT ABROAD IN THE PRETENSE OF ILLNESS.

    MAY I KNOW, WHAT HAS THE USA DOLLAR-RUN BEGGARLY PAKISTAN EMBASSY IN NIGERIA, HAS TO SAY ABOUT THIS FRAUDULENT DOLLAR MAN FROM PAKISTAN????????

    • bobo

      Nice analysis. I couldn’t agree with you more, but could you type in lowercase?

      • vic

        you would have noticed, i always type in small letters while responding like this on these columns but pardon me for shouting at these rogue and looter politicians, it is deliberate.

        have a nice day, bobo.

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