Islamabad: Pakistan has refused to allow former president Pervez Musharraf to visit Saudi Arabia to offer condolences over the death of Saudi King Abdullah, officials said Thursday.
Musharraf, who faces high treason and several other chrges, had sought the government’s permission to go to Saudi Arabia. Musharraf’s name has been placed on the list of those who cannot leave the country without the government permission in view of his cases.
The interior ministry has formally informed Musharraf and his lawyers that his name could not be removed from the Exit Control List (ECL) as the country’s apex court had directed the government to put him on the list, Xinhua news agency reported. The ministry said in a letter that the name of Musharraf could only be removed from the list on the court’s order.
According to media reports, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif consulted his close aides after Musharraf formally approached the government this week. The meeting opposed giving permission to Musharraf to leave the country and decided the former president should knock at the door of the Supreme Court.
A spokesman for Musharraf’s All Pakistan Muslim League party confirmed Musharraf had “appealed” to the federal government to exclude his name from the ECL so he could fly to Saudi Arabia.
The party’s spokesperson, Amjad, said that Musharraf had close ties with the late monarch and that he deserves to get permission from the federal government to travel to Saudi Arabia. He recalled that on King Abdullah’s request, Musharraf had allowed Nawaz Sharif to go to Saudi Arabia after his government was dismissed in 1999.