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Pervez Musharraf says he has not quit politics, wants to return

THE ASIAN AGE. | SHAFQAT ALI
Published : Jun 24, 2018, 6:44 am IST
Updated : Jun 24, 2018, 6:43 am IST

Musharraf asserted that he stepped down from the post in the light of legal consultation.

Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf (Photo: AP)
 Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf (Photo: AP)

Islamabad: Former Pakistan military ruler Pervez Musharraf on Saturday said that he had not quit politics and had only stepped down as the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) chief.

In a video message, Mr Musharraf, who resigned as the APML chairman on Friday, asserted that he stepped down from the post in the light of legal consultation.

“Many right and wrong statements are being spread regarding my resignation. The reasons behind my resignation are being speculated. People do not know the truth so I thought of putting forward the reality before the nation,” he said in the video.

“Firstly, I want to tell that I had full intention to contest the election, return Pakistan and appear before the courts in all the cases. I was working according to this plan. However; there were some requirements to fulfill this plan,” he said, adding, “I wanted my lifetime disqualification to be overturned as it happened with (former foreign minister) Khawaja Mohammed Asif. If it can happen with him, why not me?”

Mr Musharraf further added that he had asked that his name be removed from Exit Control List (ECL). “If Nawaz Sharif has the freedom to move in and outside the country, why can I not have it?” I do not want to get arrested. But the judgment was that I will not be held till appearance in court. What will happen afterwards?”

Mr Musharraf said that since those assurances were not provided he decided not to return country after consultation with other APML leaders.

New APML chairman Dr Mohammad Amjad said that Mr Musharraf had tendered his resignation to the party on June 18 due to the Peshawar High Court’s 2013 verdict which had disqualified him from politics for life.

That verdict was later challenged on Mr Musharraf’s behalf in the Supreme Court, which had issued a directive earlier this month allowing him to file his nomination papers only if he returned and was present in the court hearing on June 13 in Lahore, cautioning that the fate of the papers would be subject to the final decision in the present case.

Although Mr Musharraf’s representatives had submitted his nomination papers for NA-1 Chitral seat, the former military ruler failed to return to Pakistan after which the apex court withdrew its directive allowing nomination papers to be filed.

Mr Musharraf explained that he had put off his return after the Supreme Court order forced him to change his mind.
 
The new APML chairman said that Pervez Musharraf would remain the patron-in-chief of the party despite his resignation.

Tags: pervez musharraf, nawaz sharif