Islamabad: Former Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf has claimed that ex-army chief Gen Raheel Sharif helped him leave the country by keeping the government from pressuring the courts. Participating in a talk show on Dunya News on Monday night, he said: "Well he (Raheel Sharif) did help me. I have been his boss and I have been the Army Chief before him... he helped out, because the cases are politicised, they put me on the ECL, they turned it into a political issue."
When asked to explain how the recently retired army chief helped him, Musharraf said Gen Sharif played a role in "releasing the pressure" on courts to prevent him from leaving the country. "Behind the scenes, the army chief had a role to release that pressure by dealing with the government." "Once he (Gen Sharif) got the government to relieve the pressure that they were exerting, the courts gave their judgement and allowed me to go abroad for treatment," Musharraf elaborated.
Talking about his case, Musharraf said Pakistani courts "unfortunately... give decisions under pressure behind the scenes" and this pressure was relieved by Gen Sharif with an "influencing" role. Musharraf had left the country for Dubai in March earlier this year hours after the politicisedministry issued a notification to remove his name from the exit control list.
The government notification followed the Supreme Court's order to lift the ban on his foreign travel. But the order from the top court had come with the rider that the federal government or the three-judge special court trying the retired general for treason was free to make decisions to regulate his custody or restrict his movement.
Apart from murder cases of Benazir Bhutto, Nawab Akbar Bugti and Ghazi Abdul Rasheed, the retired general is facing treason charges for imposing emergency rule in November 2007, arresting judges and limiting their powers. His name was kept on the exit control list for more than 20 months. Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan had said in March that Musharraf had committed to facing all cases against him in court and had "promised to return in four to six weeks".