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‘Musharraf cannot practise politics’

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said that no action will be taken against former president Pervez Musharraf as long as he stays out of politics and maintains a low profile.

world Updated: Nov 03, 2008 01:10 IST

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said that no action will be taken against former president Pervez Musharraf as long as he stays out of politics and maintains a low profile.

“Now, he keeps a low profile and is not politically active. If he is not politically active, then we would not want to open too many fronts,” Gilani said.

“We want a general reconciliation in the country and we should focus on important issues such as terrorism, poverty, hunger, disease, health and education rather than fighting over such petty things,” Gilani told Turkey’s Zaman newspaper.

Reports suggest the army brokered an understanding with the civilian government that Musharraf would not be prosecuted after he resigned.

“We have told Musharraf that people voted for change (in the general election in February) and that this was the right time to step down. He was convinced that he lacked the support of parliament and he stepped down,” Gilani said.

Though parliament has not yet made a decision on Musharraf’s fate, the government is not seeking further punishment for him, he said. “He is a relic of the past. Why should we bother about him at the moment?” Gilani asked.

There has been speculation that Musharraf, who can speak Turkish and has repeatedly expressed his admiration of Turkey, could seek refuge in that country.