Close on the heels of being granted bail in four major criminal cases,former president Pervez Musharraf Tuesday petitioned a court to allow him to leave Pakistan to visit his ailing mother in Dubai.
The application asked the Sindh High Court to strike Musharraf’s name from the Interior Ministry’s Exit Control List. His lawyer A Q Halepota said Musharraf wants to go to Dubai to meet his 95-year-old mother,who is seriously ill and unable to travel.
Different courts have confirmed the 70-year-old Musharraf’s bail in all cases against him and he wants to be with his mother after being freed,Halepota said.
Musharraf’s inclusion in the Exit Control List is a violation of his fundamental rights,he added.
The application further asked the High Court to modify an earlier order restraining Musharraf from leaving Pakistan without permission from courts hearing cases against him.
A division bench headed by Justice Sajjad Ali Shah issued notices to the Deputy Attorney General and Sindh’s Advocate General and Prosecutor General,asking them to respond to the application at the next hearing on November 18.
In Islamabad,Musharraf’s spokesperson Aasia Ishaque said he was exercising his constitutional right to travel out of Pakistan.
“He is exercising his constitutional right as he has received bail in all the cases. In his plea,it is mentioned that his mother is very ill and he would like to visit her,” Ishaque told PTI. After being held for over six months at his sprawling farmhouse in Islamabad,Musharraf was released from house arrest last week when he got bail in a case related to the killing of cleric Abdul Rashid Ghazi during a military operation against the radical Lal Masjid in 2007.
However,he remains under guard at the farmhouse because of Taliban threats to his life.
Musharraf has also been granted bail in three other cases over the 2007 assassination of former premier Benazir Bhutto,the killing of Baloch nationalist leader Akbar Bugti in a 2006 military operation and the imposition of emergency in 2007.
He was arrested soon after he returned to Pakistan in March after years of self-exile to contest the general election. A court subsequently barred him from contesting polls for life.
Despite getting bail in the four major cases,things might not go smoothly for Musharraf as the Federal Investigation
Agency’s probe against him over the 2007 emergency is in its final stages.
The FIA will seek to question Musharraf on a charge of treason for imposing emergency,official sources have said.
The FIA will also seek to put him on the Exit Control List as his statement has not yet been recorded,a source said.
There has been speculation in recent months that a deal would be reached for Musharraf to leave Pakistan as this would spare the military from the embarrassment of having its former chief tried by civilian courts. Musharraf’s aides have insisted he will fight all the cases against him.