RAWALPINDI: The military restored the properties of a retired major general confiscated by the government of former president Pervez Musharraf after a lawyer informed the Lahore High Court on Thursday that his client and the General Headquarters had “resolved the issue amicably”.

Subsequently, the LHC’s Rawalpindi bench disposed of the petition of Ahsan Ahmed, who had served as Sindh’s health minister in 2002.

The petition was pending in the LHC since 2015.

Retired Maj Gen Ahmed said in his petition that since he had opposed the referendum held by Gen Musharraf in 2002, the former president turned “vindictive” and deprived him of all his retirement benefits by cancelling the allotment of a 50-acre piece of land in Bahawalnagar, as well as plots in Karachi and Rawalpindi DHAs.

The petitioner cited the federation of Pakistan, through the defence secretary, the Adjutant General of Pakistan Army, and the GHQ as respondents.

Ahsan Ahmed said he had joi­n­­ed the Army Medical Corps in 1965 and retired on Sept 13, 1999. He was allotted 50 acres of agricultural land in Bahawal­na­gar and residential plots in Ra­­w­alpindi and Karachi under rules of the Army’s housing scheme.

After retirement from the Army, Mr Ahmed was appointed as director general in the federal health ministry in Oct 1999.

The petitioner was inducted into the Sindh cabinet as health minister in 2002.

He developed differences with Pervez Musharraf after declining his request for deputing a large number of employees of his ministry for duty in the Oct 2002 elections so that the former president could execute his plan to carry out “large-scale rigging”.

“Pressure was put on me through then governor of Sindh and secret agencies to cooperate with Gen Musharraf in his plan to prevent the Peoples Party and the Pakistan Muslim League-N from gaining majority in the National Assembly,” Mr Ahmed said.

“I considered it an anti-state move and refused to play any sub­versive role in the 2002 elections.”

Days after the elections, the petitioner tendered his resignation as provincial minister, but instead of accepting or rejecting the resignation, the Sindh government issued a notification stating that since Ahsan Ahmed “has not discharged his duties in accordance with the rules, he has been removed from the cabinet with immediate effect”.

The allotments of agricultural land in Bahawalnagar and the two residential plots were cancelled by the authorities concerned in 2003.

“But the former dictator’s vengeance never ended and secret agencies started giving me death threats. This left me with no choice but to leave the country for the United Kingdom on Nov 29, 2003,” the petitioner said.

Meetings with former president Asif Zardari and ex-army chiefs Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Raheel Sharif, when they were in office, turned out to be futile, the retired major general said.

Published in Dawn, March 10th, 2023

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