Musharraf’s trial is internal matter: Pakistan

Islamabad, Jan 3: The Pakistan government said Friday the trial of former president Pervez Musharraf on charges of high treason is the country’s internal matter.

The comments from Pakistan’s foreign ministry came amidst rumours that Musharraf could leave the country under a deal to be arranged by friendly countries, Xinhua reported.

According to media reports, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Saud Al-Faisal, who is scheduled to arrive in Islamabad Monday on a two-day visit, could discuss Musharraf’s trial.

Saudi Arabia had brokered an exile deal for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif after Musharraf dismissed his government in 1999 and jailed Sharif and his family, including brother Shahbaaz.

However, the foreign ministry dispelled the impression that the visit of the Saudi minister is linked to Musharraf’s trial.

In a weekly briefing, foreign ministry spokesperson Tasneem Aslam said: “The visit is part of routine interaction between the two brotherly countries.”

Musharraf, who was admitted to a military hospital after he fell sick on the way to court Thursday, could be going abroad for treatment.

Musharraf suffered from a heart problem when he was heading to the court hearing on his high treason case, his defence lawyer Ahmed Reza Kasuri said.

Defence Minister Khwaja Asif said the government has not made any decision to send Musharraf abroad.

However, he added that the former president could be sent abroad under the court’s order.

Meanwhile, a petition was filed in a Pakistani court Friday to prevent Musharraf from going abroad for medical treatment.

Musharraf’s name is still on the list of those persons who cannot go abroad without the government’s permission. A court has already turned down his request to remove his name from the Exit Control List and advised him to approach the government.

The former army chief took over in a bloodless coup when he dismissed the government of Nawaz Sharif in 1999.

The 70-year-old currently lives in his farmhouse in Islamabad after getting bail in three high profile cases, including the 2007 assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

Musharraf, who resigned in 2008 and went into exile, returned to Pakistan in March this year to take part in parliamentary elections. However, a court disqualified him from standing in the May elections.

IANS