Musharraf ‘determined’ to face charges

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Former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf.—Photo by AFP/File
Former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf.—Photo by AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: Former president and chief of the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) retired Gen Pervez Musharraf, who has been under detention at his farmhouse for over one month, says he is determined to face all charges and to staying in the country despite the change of government.

“It is not in my nature to run away or show my back,” APML’s Information Secretary Aasia Ishaq quoted the former military ruler as saying.

Talking to Dawn on Thursday, she claimed that Mr Musharraf had categorically said that he would not leave the country, come what may.

She said despite unfavourable situation, the former president was not worried about Nawaz Sharif becoming the prime minister.

Mr Musharraf, who had ousted the Sharif government in a bloodless coup in October 1999 and then ruled the country till August 2008, faces trial under Article 6 of the constitution and is being investigated for his role in the Benazir Bhutto and Akbar Bugti murder cases, the Lal Masjid operation and judges’ detention case.

The retired general, who now wants to be called Syed Pervez Musharraf, had arrived in Karachi in March ending his three-year self-exile to take part in the May 11 elections with the slogan of “Save Pakistan”. However, his party boycotted the elections after his arrest and rejection of his nomination papers from all four constituencies – Karachi, Islamabad, Chitral and Kasur.

After Mr Musharraf’s arrest, the Senate passed a resolution demanding his trial under Article 6, but the caretaker government refused to pursue the case before the SC, saying it was not within its mandate and the matter should be left to the next government.

The last time the APML chief appeared before the media was at a ceremony organised at his heavily-guarded Chak Shahzad farmhouse on April 15 to award tickets to party candidates.

The former president had then stated that he respected the Supreme Court and was prepared to go to prison if courts so ordered.

Meanwhile, APML Secretary General Dr Mohammad Amjad issued on Thursday a “directive” of Musharraf, announcing that he had terminated the membership of central executive committee of nine party leaders, including senior lawyer Ahmed Raza Kasuri, for allegedly violating party discipline.

Aasia Ishaq said the action had been taken against the members for holding an unauthorised meeting and adopting a resolution seeking removal of the party’s secretary general.

Sources said the meeting had been held at the residence of Mr Kasuri in which Dr Amjad was held responsible for the party’s poor state of affairs.

Besides Mr Kasuri, those against whom action has been taken include Zahid Sarfaraz, Chaudhry Mohammad Shafiq, Ghulam Mustafa Khaskheli, M. Ashraf and Amoon Pasha.