<![CDATA[Exclusive by Zulfiqar Ahmad ISLAMABAD, June 27: Former military strongman retired Gen Pervez Musharraf was offered a safe exit by the top military generals with the tacit consent of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif but the hotheaded commando turned it down, it is learnt. Well-placed sources told this correspondent that before Nawaz Sharif took oath as prime minister, a series of discussions between him and senior military leadership took place to give safe passage to Musharraf in a bid to avoid controversies/confrontations. They claimed Nawaz Sharif had agreed to give Musharraf a safe exit in ‘national interest’ but everything ended up in smoke when Musharraf demanded a guarantee that the government would not create any problems if and when he decided to return to the country. “It was almost a done deal…Nawaz Sharif had agreed, perhaps he wanted to avoid the possibility of any confrontation with the army in the event that he is compelled to register a case under Article 6 of the constitution,” sources added. Musharraf refused to go abroad, saying he would not step outside Pakistan unless there is some guarantor who could ensure that he would not be barred from coming back to Pakistan anytime he wanted. In spite of the recent statement of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in National Assembly that the government would implement the Supreme Court orders in a treason case against Gen Musharraf for suspending the constitution in 2007, sources said it is not the desire of Nawaz Sharif but he is under immense pressure from some quarters. They further said that there are some political parties, especially the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the hard-line religious political parties, who are hell-bent on destabilizing the PML-N government. If trying the former President for treason was PPP’s intention as indicated by the party’s support in parliament subsequent to Nawaz Sharif’s speech why did the party not proceed with the case when it was in power. The sources said that the army and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif are fully aware that trying Musharraf will not be a smooth ride at all. An army chief is not a small fry and he remains a symbol of the whole army even after he retires, and it is unlikely that the army will act as a silent spectator, they maintained. They also stated that Nawaz Sharif did not push to initiate a treason case against Musharraf but was forced to do so by some quarters for their own vested interest which may be the first nail in the coffin of PML-N government. However, civil society as well as the lawyers, two groups in the forefront of the movement for the restoration of the judiciary, fully support trying the former President; and academics and the educated as well as the politically savvy urban Pakistan wants military adventurism to end once and for all and argue that without an example this is unlikely. Additionally, given the poor performance of Musharraf’s party in the recent elections the move to try Musharraf may well be a populist one. An army, the analysts say, will not encroach on civil government if it perceives that the time is not right.]]>
One Reply to “Musharraf turned down Nawaz's safe-exit offer”
We, the people of Chitral, love General Pervez Musharraf, the savior of Pakistan, Mohsin-e-Chitral and any attempt to negate his popularity will be given a befitting response. People from all walks of life irrespective of sects, age, biradari voted Iftikhar but it is very unfortunate that the MNA has failed to defend our beloved leader. The people of Chitral have the righ to ask why the MNA did not stage a walkout from National Assembly when Nawaz Sharif was announcing to try Musharraf for treason. The MNA should not take the plea that he did not protest in order to generate some development funds from the PML-N government. We are proud people and are not beggars, and I would request Iftikharuddin not to disgrace the Chitralis. I would also like to remind him that if Shahzada Mohiuddin could not get funds allocated for Lowari tunnel despite having good connection with the PPP govt, can you expect it from Nawaz Sharif, the enemy number one of Gen Musharraf.