Sindh High Court rules that since government imposed travel ban, only it can remove it.
The Sindh High Court on Monday said it could not lift a travel ban on former president Pervez Musharraf, a day before his trial for treason was due to start.
Musharraf’s lawyer petitioned the SHC last month to remove the retired general’s name from an “exit control list” (ECL) so he could leave the country to visit his sick mother in Dubai. On Monday, A. Q. Hallipota said the Sindh court in Karachi had ruled that as the government imposed the travel ban, it must decide on whether or not to lift it.
“A two-member bench of the Sindh High Court has ruled that it did not put Musharraf’s name on the ECL,” said Hallipota. He said the court asked the petitioner to contact the appropriate forum—the government.
Musharraf has faced criminal cases dating back to his 1999-2008 rule since returning to Pakistan, including the murder of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto. He was granted bail in the four main cases against him, but remains under virtual house arrest at his farmhouse on the edge of Islamabad due to threats to his life.
Last month the government announced it would put him on trial for treason and he has been ordered to appear before a special court on Dec. 24. It will be the first time in Pakistan’s history that a former military ruler will face a treason trial.
Speaking publicly last week for the first time since being put under house arrest in April, Musharraf vowed to face justice and not flee the country. Musharraf’s lawyers in London on Friday, meanwhile, slammed the treason trial as politically motivated and urged the U.N. to intervene. They also called on the U.S. and Britain to “repay their debt” for Musharraf’s support in the U.S.-led war on terror in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.