Former president Pervez Musharraf has left for Dubai, leaving behind an unsavoury controversy. Although the interior minister has stoutly defended his permission to let him go, the Pakistan People’s Party has come hard on him with its chairman Bilawal Bhutto accusing the government of facilitating former army chief’s ‘escape’.
The conflicting positions taken by the two are aptly reflected from a perceptional mismatch. Perhaps, both are entitled to their stands. The federal government had moved the Supreme Court against Sindh High Court’s verdict through which the high court had ordered the removal of Musharraf’s name from the Exit Control List (ECL).
A larger bench of the apex court upheld the Sindh High Court’s order, but also insisted that its “order does not preclude the federation of Pakistan or the special court seized of the proceedings under Article 6 of the Constitution against respondent General Pervez Musharraf (Retd) from placing his name on the Exit Control List.”
The Interior Minister, Chaudhry Nisar, says it is the courts that decide who should be put on the ECL, and if now the Supreme Court says Musharraf’s name should be taken off that list he feels duty-bound to do so. The opposite side is of the view that even if his name is removed from the ECL the nature of the cases against him still warrants his presence within the country.
In actuality, all of this falls within the narrow, legalistic purview of the episode. What matters to the general public and is of immense interest to it is how come a man who faced a treason charge, was implicated in the assassination of a former prime minister and wanted in case of murder of a cleric was allowed to leave the country.
But, if seen incisively, there is a caveat to each of these cases, which not only tend to impede the trial and speed of justice but also creates doubts if he is really the culprit. Let us see how.
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