LAHORE – Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Pervaiz Rashid has accused the PPP of adopting contradictory stand on former dictator Pervez Musharraf’s departure abroad.
After Asif Ali Zardari had become President, Pervez Musharraf went out of the country many times but the then PPP rulers did not take exception, Pervaiz Rashid told a private TV channel here yesterday.
The Minister said that the PML-N govt did not believe in victimisation.
He said that PPP leader and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, Syed Khursheed Shah did not object to the departure of Pervez Musharraf and if it was in the party, it was in the back benches only (it implied that the main leadership of the party did not mind much on Musharraf’s leaving the country following court order to remove his name on the Exit Control List-ECL).
He said that Musharraf is also accused of murdering Benezir Bhutto but the PPP did not take any step despite that issue.
He said the PML-N leadership was victimised by Musharraf but the party leaders never pursued political of vindictiveness and respected the court order about lifting his name on the ECL.
To a question on the defeat of Pakistan Cricket Team at the hands of India in the T20 on Saturday, he said without naming Imran Khan, that those who went to see the team to advise them at the last moment should be called to question what they told the Pakistan players.
DEMOCRATIC GOVTS ALWAYS FOLLOW LAW
Pervaiz Rashid said the democratic governments always follow law and court’s interpretations and in case court orders to bring Musharraf back through Interpol the government would obey.
Law of land takes its course if any accused person does not appear before court, the minister said in an interview with a private television channel.
He said former president Pervez Musharraf was summoned by Special Court on March 31 and obviously the law will take its course if he does not appear.
The court has granted immunity to former President from appearance in some cases while he was acquitted in Bugti case, he said and added in case the government takes a new step it would be considered as “revenge or personal rivalry.
He said there were court’s decisions regarding inclusion and exclusion of Musharraf name in Exit Control List (ECL), adding that the government had followed these decisions.
Replying to a question about Ahsan Iqbal statement on Musharraf issue, he said this was given at a time when Musharraf was not appeared before the court and it was being perceived that the former president was going abroad as a plane was awaiting and he would leave the country.
The minister said PML-N stood with people of Pakistan at a time when Musharraf was enjoying powers of his dictatorial regime.
“We raised voice against Musharraf even in imprisonment,” he remarked.
He said it was a fact that there was not an exemplary history of obeying law and constitution in Pakistan, however, it could not be said that there was no guardian of constitution and democracy in the country.
The minister said from dictatorial regimes of Ayub Khan to Musharraf, there were thousands of people who had rendered sacrifices to protect constitution and democracy.
Pervaiz said an elected prime minister was arrested illegally on October 12, 1999 and people of the country were not informed till 40 days about whereabouts of their Premier.
Replying to another question, he said, there was no pressure from international community including Saudi Arabia regarding Musharraf departure, adding, during Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit along with Army Chief to Saudi Arabia, just defence matters were discussed.
Neither protection nor amnesty was given to Musharraf, he said.
Replying to another query, the minister said Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan was impressed with Musharraf as the latter had prayed for him to become prime minister.
Rejecting statement of Imran Khan regarding another National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO), he said, PTI should discuss the issue in parliament.
Pervaiz questioned that why Imran Khan did not make his lawyer as a party in Musharraf case?
Earlier, talking to a private television channel, the minister said the government has always honoured courts’ decisions.
“In spite of the fact that Musharraf subjected Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) to cruelties, we do not want to pursue politics of vengeance,” he added.
Pervaiz said contradictory statements were issued by Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) over Pervez Musharraf’s departure and added Musharraf continued travelling abroad frequently during PPP regime.
Even opposition leader in National Assembly Khursheed Shah has raised no objection on Musharraf’s departure while back benchers of PPP in parliament were raising hue and cry on the matter.