LONDON, Aug. 20: The British government has for the first time admitted to have played a role in the resignation episode of former president Pervez Musharraf.
This is how a BBC Urdu dotcom report (Resignation: Admission of British role) opened on its webpage on Wednesday.
The report said Britain had strongly felt that no situation leading to a collision between the elected government and former president should arise but that the UK gave no specific formula for resolving the political impasse.
In a related story the BBC said one of Pakistan’s most prominent pro-democracy leaders, Aitzaz Ahsan, who heads the Supreme Court Bar Association, had accused a senior British diplomat of undermining his country’s rule of law.
“Sir Mark Lyall Grant was in Pakistan recently and reportedly urged the government to give President Musharraf immunity if he resigned,” the report said.
Mr Ahsan said: “It’s the Brits who have stitched the deal. Mark Lyall Grant... won’t put a single man, a Britisher or non-Britisher in England or in the United Kingdom above the law and yet he comes here and puts the president above the law.
“Today giving safe passage out to Musharraf is allowing safe passage to the next man three years down the line.”
The BBC report further said that the British Foreign Office had responded to Mr Ahsan’s statement by issuing a statement saying it had not prescribed a specific solution to Pakistan’s political crisis.
It said that London was however keen that Pakistan found a way out of confrontation.
According to the report, the British Foreign Office told the BBC it was working to avoid confrontation in Pakistan
When Dawn asked about the ‘admission’ aspect of the BBC report, Natasha Khan, spokesperson of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, denied that Sir Mark had a mandate to prescribe any specific formula, but said Britain wanted to see full and stable democracy in Pakistan and no political upheavals.