Musharraf will have to wait and watch


A two-member bench of the Sindh High Court (SHC) comprising Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Shahnawaz heard former president Pervez Musharraf s petition seeking removal of his name from the Exit Control List (ECL).

In his arguments, Attorney General Salman Butt said Musharraf’s petition against the ECL does not come under the High Court’s jurisdiction.

He said the two decisions that were challenged, were issued from Islamabad and Musharraf is also a permanent resident of Islamabad.

The AG said that the SHC had heard the ECL case on April 8, 2014.

Upon this, Justice Mazhar remarked that the court would provide opportunity to the parties as per the constitution.

Musharraf’s counsel Barrister Farogh Naseem argued before the bench that after the Supreme Court’s final decision the court’s earlier interim order had no value. He further argued that only a trial court could issue an order to keep the name of a person on the ECL.

Naseem said that cases against Musharraf were proceeding in five courts but none had imposed a restriction on the movement of the former president.

After hearing the arguments, the bench adjourned the hearing of the case till May 20.

Later, talking to reporters, Barrister Naseem said that the government wanted to influence the court by putting Musharraf’s name on the ECL. He said that a citizen’s name cannot be put on the ECL with an administrative order.

In the previous hearing, the government had opposed Musharraf’s petition which sought the removal of the travel ban imposed on him, on grounds that he had to visit his ailing mother in Dubai. The government had filed its response in the SHC.

According to Musharraf’s counsel, the government’s reply stated that since the 70-year-old former president was required to appear in court in four different cases, his name should not be taken off the ECL.

The government had also argued that in some cases Musharraf could face the death penalty and could abscond if his name was taken off the ECL.