LAHORE - Former military ruler Pervez Musharraf is not likely to fly abroad, as Federal Investigation Agency is still investigating the cases against him that fall in the Scheduled Offences and that no talks regarding his release are going on at any level at this point in time.
A well-placed source in the government confided to this correspondent that an accused being investigated by FIA could not leave the country and the former president was in the same situation.
Consequently, Musharraf cannot fly abroad, although the court of law has granted him bail in four cases – the Benazir Bhutto assassination case, judges’ detention case, November-3 2007 Provisional Constitutional Order, and Nawab Akbar Bugti murder case.
The Scheduled Offences, under the FIA Act of 1974, also contain the high treason – the allegation Musharraf faces for his November-3 action, whereof over 60 judges of the superior judiciary had been de-seated and placed under house arrest.
Official source says FIA needs Musharraf under clause 6 of the Act that specifies jurisdiction of the Agency and its authority to take over investigations [of any case] from other investigation agencies.
After the grant of bail to Musharraf on last Wednesday, his removal to Dubai or any other country in very near future was strongly presumed. Official source however negated this impression.
It may be noted here that the former military ruler, who enjoyed carte blanche from October 12, 1999, till November 2007, when he doffed his army chief robe under a US and UK-sponsored deal with Benazir Bhutto, could be dropped from the exit control list [ECL] through the court orders alone.
About any direct or indirect contacts with the government about Musharraf’s release or departure abroad, official source replied in negative, and explained that no such contacts were established, as the matter was before the courts and whatever they decided would be followed.
“There is no direct or indirect interaction going on at any level regarding Musharraf’s passage abroad,” official source said, adding this question would arise only after he would be a ‘free man’, which he was hitherto not.
Musharraf has been fighting a legal and political battle for his delivery from six months old incarceration around the same time when in October 1999 he toppled the elected government of Nawaz Sharif and put him and his family members behind the bars, where they remained for about 14months till ‘exile’ to Saudi Arabia on December 10, 2000. It is reversal of the fortune that today Nawaz Sharif is in power again but Pervez Musharraf behind the bars.