Court allows Musharraf to leave Pakistan

Court orders government to lift travel ban on former military ruler, who is battling treason charges.

Musharraf has been granted bail in three other major cases linked to his time in power [File: AFP]

A court in southern port city of Karachi has ordered Pakistan’s government to lift a travel ban on former military ruler Pervez Musharraf in 15 days’ time, his lawyer has said.

“The court has allowed our appeal and ordered to strike down Musharraf’s name from the Exit Control List. The order will be executed after 15 days,” lawyer Farogh Naseem told the AFP news agency on Thursday.

The delayed execution of the order “will give time to the government to appeal in a superior court if they so desire”, he added.

Musharraf, 70, has been battling several court cases since he returned to Pakistan last year to fight national elections. In March a court charged him with treason for imposing emergency rule in 2007, stoking tensions between civilian authorities and the powerful military.

Pakistan’s Musharraf indicted for treason

His exit from Pakistan could help ease those tensions at a time when the country is fighting a resurgent Taliban following a deadly attack on Karachi’s airport this week that left more than 30 people dead.

Musharraf flew to Karachi in April to undergo medical tests. He has said he wanted the travel ban lifted so he could visit his sick mother in Dubai, but many in Pakistan see it as a ruse to flee the country and avoid the litany of criminal cases against him dating back to his 1999-2008 rule.

He also faces several murder cases. The former military ruler has been staying with his daughter in Karachi where he travelled for the tests at a navy-run hospital.

He has been having medical treatment since January, when he was rushed to hospital after suffering heart problems on his way to court for a hearing.

The former general, who seized power in 1999 and resigned in 2008, has pleaded not guilty to the treason charges.

Musharraf, however, has been granted bail in three other major cases linked to his time in power, including the 2007 assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto in a gun and suicide attack, and the murder of Baloch nationalist leader Nawab Akbar Bugti in 2006.

Source: News Agencies