Nawaz has to endorse army’s decision on Musharraf: Rashid | The Express Tribune


KARACHI:

Former interior minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed has said that the military leadership has taken a bold decision with regard to the return of ailing former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif had no option but to endorse it.

Musharraf – who has been living in self-exile since 2016 – was sentenced to death on Dec 17, 2019 by a special court which found Musharraf guilty of high treason under Article 6 of the Constitution. Now, he is terminally ill and, according to his family, wants to spend rest of his life in Pakistan.

A day earlier the chief military spokesperson, Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar, said that the military brass believes Musharraf should be brought back. “General Pervez Musharraf’s health is very bad. In such a situation, the leadership of the institution is of the view that he should be brought back to Pakistan. But this decision will be made by his family and doctors,” he said in a television interview on Tuesday.

Read more: Military believes Musharraf should be brought back to Pakistan

“If the family gives its consent, then arrangements would be made to bring him back.” The Express Tribune reported on Monday that Musharraf has expressed a desire to spend the rest of his life in Pakistan.

Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf had toppled the government of Nawaz Sharif in 1998 in a bloodless military coup and then sent the Sharif family into exile after a foreign-brokered deal. However, Nawaz said he holds no grudge against him.

“I have no personal feud with Pervez Musharraf. I don’t want anyone to go through the same emotional shock and trauma with regard to their loved-ones as I had to endure,” he said in a cryptic reference to his tormentor. “I pray to Almighty Allah to grant his recovery. If he wants to return, then the government should facilitate him,” Nawaz said in a tweet.

Taking to popular microblogging site Twitter, Sheikh Rashid appreciated what he called the “right and bold” decision of the military leadership. “Nawaz Sharif had no option but to endorse this decision,” he added. “Nawaz Sharif had picked a fight with every army chief in Pakistan, but had also bowed before them when it was in his interests.”

Sheikh Rashid is also head of Awami Muslim League, which is a key ally of Imran Khan, the former premier who was ousted through a vote of no-confidence by PML-N, PPP and their allies. Khan and his allies, however, claim that their government was toppled through a ‘foreign conspiracy’ to install an “imported government” on Pakistan.

“The no-confidence move was initiated from London as part of the foreign conspiracy [against the PTI-led govt]. Now who is stopping Nawaz Sharif from returning to Pakistan,” said Rashid. “The agenda of the imported government is to have corruption cases against them dropped and impose an IMF-dictated inflation in the country.”

Nawaz Sharif, who has been sentenced to seven years in jail in a corruption case in Dec 2018, has been living in London for the treatment of some undiagnosed illness. He was flown to London in an air ambulance in Nov 2019 a month after the three-times premier was released on bail.



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