No secret deal with Musharraf, says Pakistan minister

Islamabad, Jan 4: Pakistan’s Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif ruled out any secret deal with former president Pervez Musharraf Saturday, a media report said.

The minister said any secret deal with Musharraf is out of the question, according to Geo News.

After failing, for the second time in 10 days, to appear Wednesday in the special court formed to try him on charges of high treason, Musharraf was being taken to the court Thursday when he complained of a “heart problem” and was shifted to the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC) in Rawalpindi.

Asif said the former army chief is being provided the best medical facilities here.

The minister said Musharraf’s name, which is still on the list of people who cannot go abroad without the government’s permission, would not be removed.

A court has already turned down Musharraf’s request to remove his name from the Exit Control List and advised him to approach the government.

The Pakistan government said Friday that the trial of 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.

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.

Asif said there was no pressure from any country, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on the issue.

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.

Musharraf seized power in 1999 and was president from 2001 to 2008, when he stepped down and went to live in London in self-exile. He returned to Islamabad in March 2013 to contest in parliamentary elections.

However, a court disqualified him from standing in the May 2013 elections which his bete noire Nawaz Sharif won.

Musharraf has been granted bail in four major cases, including one of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto’s assassination.

He is now facing trial for high treason — for imposing emergency rule in 2007.

IANS