Friday April 19, 2024

Left chairmanship, not politics: Musharraf

By Faisal Kamal Pasha
June 24, 2018

ISLAMABAD: In a video message released by the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML), former military dictator General (R) Pervez Musharraf has clarified that he’s not quit politics but resigned as the party chairman after due legal consultation.

“For my return to the country, I required three things: I may be allowed to take part in the election; my name be not put on the Exit Control List (ECL), and I may not be arrested. For these three reasons, I decided to remain out [of the country],” Musharraf said.

He said Dr Muhammad Amjad as the party chairman and Mehreen Malik Adam as general secretary were the most appropriate persons and asked the party workers to support the two. Musharraf said he was quite committed to taking part in the 2018 general elections but there were some hurdles that had not been removed.

“After consultation with the APML leadership, I decided not to return for the time being,” Musharraf said. He asked his party candidates to go to the election with full zeal and he will also support them. “Good times will come and we will then decide accordingly,” he said.

Musharraf said he was very keen to return [to the country], face court cases and take part in the election. “In the way to fulfillment of my desire there are certain impediments that have not been removed. First, I should have been allowed to take part in the elections. The Islamabad High Court (IHC) disqualified Khawaja Asif which was nullified by the Supreme Court. I was also disqualified by a high court bench to contest elections but the Supreme Court did not nullify the decision like it did in Khawaja Asif case.

Second, my name should not be put on the Exit Control List (ECL). The name of Mian Nawaz Sharif has not been put on the ECL and off and on he is travelling to London and addressing public all over in the country. I also required that liberty.

Third, I may not be arrested after my return to the country. The Supreme Court had said that I would not be arrested till I reach the court. The apex court however did not clarify that if I would not be arrested after that.

These three issues were impeding my return. If my movements may be restricted upon my return to the country, what I could have done for my party. With due consultation with the party leadership, I decided not to return, as this is not an appropriate time and it could create difficulties for the party as well,” he elaborated. He said some people were claiming that he had quit politics which was a total misconception.

“I would move forward at an appropriate time. I thought before the court could declare me ineligible for the party chairmanship, I should resign beforehand.” Musharraf urged the APML workers to unite under the leadership of Dr Amjad and Mehreen Malik Adam leaving aside their petty disputes and differences.