After granting of bail, will Musharraf leave Pakistan now?

Musharraf thanks Almighty. File Pic
Musharraf thanks Almighty. File Pic

Will Pakistan’s former military ruler and president Parvez Musharraf,  who was granted much needed bail by Pakistan’s Supreme court yesterday, leave the country and shift to Dubai or London?

Islamabad, Oct 10/Nationalturk – After granting of bail by Supreme Court in the murder case of former Balochistan rebel leader Nawab Akbar Bugti, Pakistan’s former military ruler and President Parvez Musharraf is a free man now. However, the million dollar question is will he leave Pakistan now and shift to Dubai or London.

Pakistan’s Supreme Court yesterday granted bail to Musharraf in the murder case of Akbar Bugti, who had challenged government writ and was killed in military action in 2006 during Musharraf’s rule.

Supreme Court’s three-member bench comprising Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk, Justice Sarmad Jalal Usmani and Justice Musheer Alam granted bail to Musharraf after finding no substantial evidence to involve him in the Nawab Bugti’s murder.

“This is a case of criminal conspiracy for which solid evidences are required, and due to the prosecution’s unavailability to produce evidences, there is no justification for rejection of the bail plea,” the court said.

The former military ruler, who was under detention at his Chak Shahzad farm house in Islamabad from last five months, was asked to deposit two surety bonds of Rs1 million each.

Musharraf will remain under heavy guard

Sources said Musharraf is likely to remain under heavy guard at his farm house, where he has been under house arrest since April, because of serious threats to his life from Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants.

Earlier, Musharraf had been granted bail by Pakistani courts in two high profile cases, including murder of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto and judges’ detention case.

Musharraf had been implicated in four cases – promulgation of Emergency on Nov 3, 2007, judges’ detention case, and murder cases of ex-PM Benazir Bhutto and Nawab Akbar Bugti. Now he has been given bail in three cases while no challan has been filed in another case pertaining to high treason.

The former military ruler’s lawyers told media persons that Musharraf was a free man now as the apex court had granted bail to him.

‘Musharraf is free man and can go everywhere’

“He (Musharraf) was now a free man and could go everywhere, even abroad,” said Ahmed Raza Kasuri, head of the Musharraf’s defence team

He told a wire news agency that Musharraf can fly to Dubai to meet his ailing mother once the legal formalities are completed.

Musharraf, who became the first former army chief of Pakistan to be arrested, was army chief when he took power in a 1999 coup and overthrew then PM Nawaz Sharif’s government . He later became president as well. He stepped down after PPP of assassinated former prime minister Benazir Bhutto won an election in 2008. He returned to Pakistan in March after nearly four years of self-imposed exile to contest a May 11 general election, but he was disqualified from standing because of pending court cases. The May election was won by the party of Nawaz Sharif – the prime minister Musharraf ousted in his coup 14 years ago.

During the legal battles, he was detained and placed under house arrest at his Chak Shahzad farm house, where a large contingent of police and paramilitary commandos remained deployed 24×7 in view of threat to his life.

Political observers are divided whether Musharraf can leave Pakistan now. “Musharraf cannot fly abroad as his name is included in the Exit Control List (ECL). As long as Musharraf’s name is included in the ECL, he cannot go abroad,” some observers said.

However, others believe that since he (Musharraf) is not wanted in any case, his name from ECL can be removed anytime and he can leave country, possibly on health grounds.

“Pakistan’s current army chief General Kayani has also expressed his displeasure over the way Musharraf was treated. Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif would prefer him to leave the country rather than becoming another headache for him,” they said.

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Faiz Ahmad / NationalTurk Pakistan News

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