Govt reply in Musharraf ECL case termed misleading

KARACHI: In response to interior ministry’s reply on a petition filed by retired general Pervez Musharraf against the restriction on his travel abroad, counsel for Musharraf filed a rejoinder in Sindh High Court (SHC), contending that government’s reply was distortion of law and facts, which was aimed at misleading court.

Dr Farogh Naseem filed rejoinder on Tuesday in SHC, requesting it to reject the statement of interior ministry. He rejected the argument of government that high court had no territorial jurisdiction to hear the matter as saying that it possessed the jurisdiction to proceed with the matter according to law and interpret the judgment of apex court.

He said that it was government’s desire to afflict capital punishment on Musharraf and it was bent upon to get him convicted in high treason case by fabricating the defence evidence. There was no any evidence against Musharraf to implicate him in the cases maliciously lodged against him, he submitted in rejoinder.

He insisted that high court had jurisdiction to interpret the orders of apex court and remove Musharraf’s name from ECL. He said that his client was not guilty of high treason under article 6 or any other crime, adding that it was unreasonable to place Musharraf’s name on ECL.

A day earlier on Monday, federal government submitted its comments, arguing that high court had territorial jurisdiction to hear the matter as the name of the former military ruler was placed on the exit control list on the orders of the Supreme Court.

It was stated that the former president should approach the apex court to get his name withdrawn from the ECL.

Musharraf had filed a petition through his attorney, retired brigadier Akhtar Zamin, stating that retired general wanted to visit his ailing mother in Dubai, but the federal government had disallowed him from leaving the country by placing his name on the exit control list (ECL) on April 5 last year.

He said trial courts had confirmed Musharraf’s bail in all cases including those pertaining to the killing of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto and Baloch nationalist leader Nawab Akbar Bugti. He said Gen Musharraf moved two applications to the interior ministry seeking permission to travel abroad but they were dismissed illegally on April 2.

He said that ban on Musharraf’s travel abroad was against the right of the freedom of movement and other fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 9, 14, and 15 of the constitution.

The court was requested to declare the placing Musharraf’s name on the ECL illegal and direct the federal government to strike his name off the ECL. The bench put off the hearing to May 7.

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