Confusion persists over whether former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf will be allowed a safe passage out of the country any time soon.
While prime minister Nawaz Sharif has ruled out the possibility of his government taking Musharraf’s name off the Exit Control List (ECL), the interior ministry has advised Musharraf to go back to the courts to have his name deleted. This message was delivered on Wednesday.
A meeting chaired by prime minister Nawaz Sharif had earlier decided that any safe passage given to Musharraf would cause enormous damage to the country.
In this ping-pong, the government once again deflected the decision to the judiciary, say analysts.
After his indictment on Monday and a subsequent order of the special court that it has no jurisdiction to decide on his name being taken off the ECL, Musharraf’s lawyer had filed an application with the government for taking his name off the ECL.
On Wednesday, his lawyer confirmed that following the interior ministry’s reply, he would again approach the judiciary for relief.
In between, the army is trying to ease Musharraf’s exit without being seen as interfering.
The daily Express Tribune reported on Wednesday that Pakistani Army chief Gen Raheel Sharif had advised the government to allow Musharraf to go abroad for treatment and to look after his ailing mother. But officially the army has reserved its comments and says that it is up to the courts and the government to decide.