KARACHI: Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday allowed federal law officer more time till May 7 to file comments of Interior Ministry on a petition of former president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf seeking removal of restriction on his travelling abroad.
Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, who headed a division bench of SHC, adjourned the hearing of case till May 7 when Attorney General of Pakistan requested the court for some time to file comments in response to the petition.
General Musharraf filed a petition in SHC through his attorney Brigadier retired Akhtar Zamin, citing Interior Secretary, director general FIA, director FIA Sindh, additional director FIA Immigration and deputy attorney general as respondents.
Petitioner’s Counsel Dr Faroogh Naseem submitted before the court that Gen Musharraf wanted to travel abroad to see his 95-year-old ailing mother in Dubai and seek medical treatment.
He said that federal government had placed Musharraf’s name on the ECL on 5 April 2013 without any plausible reason.
He said trial courts had confirmed Gen Musharraf’s bail in all cases, including the killings of Baloch nationalist leader Nawab Akbar Bugti, former premier Benazir Bhutto.
He submitted that special court, constituted to try Musharraf for high treason, indicted him and passed a judgment on March 31, whereby the court granted him exemption from the personal appearance in the court and made it clear that it had not issued directives for placing Musharraf’s name on ECL.
He said that special court’s order further said that federal government cannot the refuse to review its decision to place the Musharraf’s name on ECL merely because of pendency of high treason trial.
In wake of the special court’s order, petitioner filed two applications with the Interior Ministry to allow Musharraf to travel abroad but the applications were dismissed illegally and unconstitutionally by Interior Ministry on April 02.
He argued that it was settled principle of law that mere pendency of criminal cases against him was not justification to place Musharraf’s name on ECL. Special court had not placed any restriction on the movement of petitioner and has granted him exemption from further appearance, he added.
The impugned orders and actions of federal government are against fundamental right of the freedom of movement and fundamental right guaranteed under article 9, 14, and 15 of the Country’s Constitution.
He requested the court to declare the act of federal government to place former army general’s name on ECL illegal and direct them to strike his name off the ECL.
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