News / Asia

    Musharraf Allowed to Leave Pakistan

    FILE - Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, March 23, 2013.
    FILE - Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, March 23, 2013.
    Ayaz Gul

    Authorities in Pakistan have allowed former military ruler, Pervez Musharraf, to travel abroad to seek medical treatment.

    Thursday’s move came a day after the country’s highest court lifted international travel restrictions on Musharraf who is awaiting trial for treason as well as other charges.

    Addressing a news conference in Islamabad, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said the government granted the travel permission because of the judicial verdict.

    Pakistani Interior Minister Chaudary Nisar Ali Khan addresses a news conference in Islamabad, Pakistan, March 17, 2016.
    Pakistani Interior Minister Chaudary Nisar Ali Khan addresses a news conference in Islamabad, Pakistan, March 17, 2016.

    “Musharraf has promised to return in four to six weeks,” Khan said, adding the former president has given assurances he will face all cases against him in court.

    The legal challenges against Pakistan's former chief have been a source of friction between the powerful military institution and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government.

    Musharraf seized power in a bloodless military coup in 1999 after ousting Sharif.

    The treason charges against him and the subsequent travel ban stemmed from Musharraf's decision to suspend the constitution and impose a state of emergency in the country in 2007 in a bid to extend his rule.

    He stepped down in 2008 in the face of political protests and growing demands for his impeachment.

    Musharraf left Pakistan soon after quitting office and lived in self-imposed exile for years before returning home in 2013, prompting Sharif's new government to institute court cases against him.

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