Pakistan military angered by treatment of Musharraf - reports

ISLAMABAD Wed May 1, 2013 10:51am IST

A poster of former President and head of the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) political party Pervez Musharraf (L), with Muhammad Ali Jinnah, founder and first governor-general of Pakistan, is pictured on a wall as a man prepares snacks in Islamabad April 30, 2013. REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood

A poster of former President and head of the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) political party Pervez Musharraf (L), with Muhammad Ali Jinnah, founder and first governor-general of Pakistan, is pictured on a wall as a man prepares snacks in Islamabad April 30, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Faisal Mahmood

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan's powerful army chief has suggested the military is unhappy with how authorities have treated former army chief and president Pervez Musharraf since his return from exile.

A Pakistani court on Tuesday imposed a lifetime ban on Musharraf from contesting elections, undermining his efforts to regain influence by winning a seat in parliament.

The former army chief returned in March after nearly four years of self-imposed exile to contest a May 11 general election, but election officers disqualified him because of court cases pending against him.

In what newspapers described as a veiled reference to Musharraf's legal troubles, Army Chief General Ashfaq Kayani said: "In my opinion, it is not merely retribution, but awareness and participation of the masses that can truly end this game of hide and seek between democracy and dictatorship."

Kayani, arguably the most powerful figure in Pakistan, was delivering a Martyrs' Day speech at army headquarters. Newspapers carried his comments on front pages.

The military has ruled Pakistan for than half of its 66-year-history, through coups or from behind the scenes. It sets security and foreign policy, even when civilian governments are in power.

Current commanders have meddled less in politics, letting civilian governments take the heat for policy failures.

But Kayani has had an uneasy relationship with civilian leaders, as well as an increasingly interventionist Supreme Court, which has questioned the military's human rights record.

The chief justice, Iftikhar Chaudhry, was embroiled in a confrontation with Musharraf, who removed him from office in 2007 after he opposed plans to extend the general's stay in power. Chaudhry was later reinstated.

Musharraf's has been embroiled in legal issues since his return.

He became the first former army chief to be arrested in Pakistan when police took him into custody at their headquarters last Friday, breaking an unwritten rule that the top ranks of the military are untouchable, even after they have retired.

On April 20, a court remanded the former president in custody for two weeks, a term set to expire on May 4, as judges pushed ahead with plans to put Musharraf on trial for a crackdown on the judiciary during his time in office.

On Tuesday, an anti-terrorism court in the garrison city of Rawalpindi put Musharraf on 14-day judicial remand for charges of failing to provide adequate security for former prime minister Benazir Bhutto before her 2007 assassination.

Musharraf ousted then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a coup in 1999. Sharif is seen as the front-runner in the election.

(Editing by Robert Birsel)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

India-Nepal Ties

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Wipro Reaps Profit

Wipro Reaps Profit

Wipro Q1 profit up 30 pct on new contract wins   Full Article 

Monsoon Revives

Monsoon Revives

Monsoon revival keeps rain above average   Full Article 

Tackling Food Prices

Tackling Food Prices

India to free up extra 10 million tonne wheat in open market  Full Article 

Facebook Results

Facebook Results

Facebook beats Wall Street targets, stock hits record high  Full Article 

Struggling Economies

Struggling Economies

Asian economies to struggle on weak export demand - Reuters poll  Full Article 

Mining Roadblock

Mining Roadblock

Coal India's plans for 20 mines hit by land, environment delays  Full Article 

Power Jolt

Power Jolt

UAE's TAQA pulls out of India power plant deal with Jaiprakash  Full Article 

Factory Sector

Factory Sector

China July HSBC flash PMI at 18-month high of 52.0   Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage