'Musharraf left Pak after striking a deal with government'

KARACHI: Pervez Musharraf left Pakistan for Dubai for ‘medical treatment’ after striking a deal with the government whose contents will be disclosed at an “appropriate time”, a close aide of the former military dictator said today.

Ahmad Raza Kasuri, the chief coordinator of the All Pakistan Muslim League ( AMPL), the party launched by Musharraf contradicted the claim that Musharraf’s name was struck off the Exit Control List (ECL) in compliance with the Supreme Court orders.

Musharraf, who had been based in Karachi since 2014 for specialised medical treatment, flew out to Dubai despite facing a number of cases in the court, including a treason charge for subverting the Constitution in 2007.

“At 2.00 am on Thursday, my phone rang. It was General Sahib [Musharraf] on the line. He took me into confidence and shared details of the agreement [struck with the government] before his departure,” Kasuri told the ‘Express Tribune’.

As a first step towards its implementation, Attorney General for Pakistan Salman Aslam Butt did not argue against the Supreme Court order for lifting travel restrictions on Musharraf, Kasuri said.

The agreement also envisages the government will wrap up the treason trial, he said.

“I will disclose contents of the deal at an appropriate time,” he added.

72-year-old Musharraf had said before leaving that he was going abroad to seek medical treatment for a spinal cord ailment which has now developed several complications and will “come back in a few weeks or months”.

Musharraf left Pakistan after the Supreme Court overturned a High court ruling that backed the inclusion of his name on the Exit Control List of the government.

He flew to Dubai after the government lifted international travel restrictions on him.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said on Thursday that the government removed Musharraf’s name from the ECL in compliance with the Supreme Court orders.

“He [Musharraf] has been allowed to travel abroad for medical treatment. His lawyers have committed before the apex court that he will return after four to six weeks,” Nisar told the media.

Musharraf’s name was put on the ECL after he returned to Pakistan in 2013, hoping to lead his party in the general elections.

He was, however, disqualified from contesting the polls and found himself fighting an array of charges relating to his time in power from 1999 to 2008.

Musharraf has been facing high treason trial since 2013 and he was barred from leaving the country in 2014 by the government.

Ironically, present prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family were also allowed to leave Pakistan after a military coup in 1998 due to off-shore deal brokered by the Saudi government.