Press Trust of India
Islamabad, 6 January
A Pakistani court today rejected a petition to bar possible exit of former military ruler Pervez Musharraf from the country for treatment but made it clear that he could not leave without permission from the courts.
Rejecting the petition, Islamabad High Court Justice Shaukat Aziz said that it is the job of the courts ~ that provided bail to Mr Musharraf ~ to ensure his appearance.
Mr Musharraf, 70, could not leave the country without the permission of the court, he said. He further said that the court cannot interfere in the jurisdiction of the special court, constituted to hear treason case against Mr Musharraf.
The petition was filed by the Shuhada Foundation of Pakistan Trust, Lal Masjid, on 3 January to ensure Mr Musharraf remains in Pakistan. The foundation is a representative body of people who died in the 2007 army operation in Islamabad.
Meanwhile, Mr Musharraf did not appear before the special court today.
His advocate Ahmed Raza Kasuri had made it clear yesterday that Mr Musharraf will not appear as he was not well.
The former commando, who plotted the Kargil conflict and staged a bloodless coup in 1999, was rushed to the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology in Rawalpindi after complaining heart problem on his way to court to face treason trial on 2 January.
He faces treason charges for suspending, subverting and abrogating the Constitution, imposing an emergency in the country in November 2007 and detaining judges of the superior courts.
It is the first time in Pakistan’s history that a former military ruler has been put on trial for treason, a charge that entails life imprisonment or death penalty if convicted. There is intense speculation that Mr Musharraf is likely to be flown out of the country for treatment.
His detractors say the military is supporting him though there has not been any public support by the armed forces.
Mr Musharraf, who was into self-imposed exile, had returned to Pakistan last year hoping to act as a third force in the May general elections.
Unfortunately for him, he found himself entangled in a web of cases that made him stay at his farm house under house arrest for over six months.
Just when he had managed to get bail in all cases, the government constituted a special court to try him for treason.