PML-N’s 48-hour ultimatum withdrawn within 48 hours: Don’t involve Saudis in internal affairs, says Nawaz Sharif
* PML-N would not support any undemocratic move to destabilise the PPP government
ISLAMABAD: The Saudi government should not be involved in Pakistan’s political affairs, said Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief on Wednesday as his party withdrew a 48-hour deadline it set for the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) to end a “malicious campaign”.
The APP news agency reported that Nawaz made the comments while addressing a press conference at Chief Minister’s Secretariat. He said the PML-N would not support any undemocratic move to destabilise the PPP government.
Meanwhile, PML-N Senator Pervaiz Rashid told Daily Times his party had withdrawn its ultimatum for the PPP after “achieving the objectives”. He said his party was “quite satisfied” after the prime minister called the Punjab chief over the telephone to renew their commitment to work together. app/staff report
RIYADH: Former president Pervez Musharraf left Jeddah for London on Wednesday afternoon after a three-day visit to Saudi Arabia amid speculations that another Saudi-backed political arrangement was on the cards in Pakistan.
General (retd) Musharraf had a long meeting with King Abdullah that began late on Tuesday night and continued into the early hours of Wednesday. Initially, senior Saudi ministers attended the meeting, but after 45 minutes they left the room and a one-to-one discussion between the king and the former president continued for about two hours and 15 minutes.
What transpired at the meeting was difficult to ascertain, but according to sources close to the former president he would say something about it on returning to London. They said that after the meeting Mr Musharraf was in ‘high spirits’. His body language was ‘positive’ and he sounded ‘very optimistic’.
Officially nothing much has been said by the Saudi side. In a brief news release, the official Saudi Press Agency said: ‘The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, received at his palace here today former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. During the audience, they held cordial talks. The audience was attended by a number of officials.’
It is an open secret here that President Musharraf resigned from the presidency last year under an arrangement and that the Saudis were one of the guarantors. Under the arrangement, there would be no trial of or court cases against the former president. Washington and London are believed to be among other guarantors.
Sources here say that it would be naive to think that PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif was unaware of the arrangement. And now the guarantors want the arrangement to be respected in letter and in spirit.
Mr Sharif is also expected here next week, during the last days of Ramazan. Public posturing apart, the sources said, Mr Sharif would be aware of the importance of the guarantee given by the Saudis.
It may be mentioned that Mr Musharraf’s was a high-profile visit. Not only did the king send a special plane to bring him to the kingdom, the meeting on Tuesday night was shown on Saudi TV. The SPA also released a picture showing the king engaged in discussion with the former president.
The Saudi initiative needs to be seen against the backdrop of the keen interest taken by Riyadh in political stability in Pakistan. (Dawn)
ISLAMABAD: The almost royal treatment given by the Saudi government to former president Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf during his visit to Riyadh has thrown his opponents into total confusion.
Reports that King Abdullah sent a special plane to bring the retied general from London to Riyadh have surprised a number of politicians many of whom had received Saudi favours and courtesy.
The reports have sparked speculations that the Saudi ruling family is taking keen interest to defuse tension in Pakistan and try to use its influence to persuade PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif to give up his demand for Gen (retd) Musharraf’s trial for high treason.
It was because of these reports that a PML-N spokesman denied that any Saudi request relating to the former military leader had been made to Mr Sharif. ‘There has been no official message from the Saudi family to Mian Nawaz Sharif in this regard,’ Senator Pervez Rasheed told reporters.
He refused to comment on Musharraf’s visit to Saudi Arabia as a royal guest.
Some observers here attach great importance to the former president’s visit and say that disturbed by the persistent demand for trial made by the PML-N, Gen Musharraf wanted King Abdullah to use his influence and bail him out.
Others say it was a routine visit because Gen Musharraf has good relations with the Saudi royal family and it has nothing to do with the current political situation in the country.
Barrister Mohammad Ali Saif, who claims to be spokesperson and representative of Gen Musharraf in Pakistan, said: ‘The PML-N should see and understand how the former president is being treated by the Saudi government and forget about his (Musharraf) trial for treason.’
He said it was not for the first time that the Saudi government had sent a special plane for Gen Musharraf. In the past also, he added, King Abdullah had offered the facility and Gen Musharraf kept the plane sent by king for some time for his travel to European countries.
Asked if the Saudi government had given any guarantee to the former president that he would not be tried, Mr Saif said: ‘I don’t know anything about this, but there is little possibility of Gen Musharraf facing trial only because the PML-N is asking for that.’
A senior PPP leader pointed out that frequent visits by Saudi intelligence chief Prince Muqrin bin Abdul Aziz to Pakistan before and after the resignation of Gen Musharraf showed the level of Saudi government’s engagement with Pakistan.
In reply to a question about any assurance given by the government to the Saudis about the fate of Gen Musharraf, he said: ‘I am not aware of this, but the way the former president is being treated in the kingdom means he cannot be touched in Pakistan.’
He said it was only the PML-N which was insisting on Musharraf’s trial while other parties were either least concerned or not ‘very serious’ about it.
King Abdullah calls on Pakistani leadership to abide by agreement
* Any step against former president could affect Pak-Saudi ties, political stability in Pakistan
Daily Times Monitor
LAHORE: The Saudi authorities have formally sent a message to the Pakistani leadership that they want stability in Pakistan, with King Abdullah urging all stakeholders to abide by an agreement that rules out any action against former president Pervez Musharraf, reported a private TV channel on Tuesday.
Saudi royal family sources said that during a meeting between Interior Minister Rehman Malik and the Saudi king, a “clear message” was given to the government that a confrontation between the PPP and the PML-N and any step against Musharraf could affect the country’s political stability.
The channel reported that the Saudi king played the role of a guarantor at the time of Musharraf’s resignation and assured the former president that no action would be taken against him. The king said if a party or an individual backed out of the agreement reached, Pak-Saudi relations would be affected.
Nawaz travels to Saudi Arabia next week to hold meetings with officials, who would “force him to abide by the agreement”, said the sources, adding that the Saudi king wanted to defuse the tensions because he had been told Musharraf was considering making important disclosures about Nawaz and President Asif Ali Zardari in London that included talk of Saudi Arabia as well.
Musharraf – who is currently in Saudi Arabia – met the Saudi intelligence chief, who was an important player in Nawaz’s return to Pakistan, and discussed issues related to his trial.
These criminal agent rulers of saudi arabia are protecting a mass murdering pig from pakistan. (Daily Times)
Saudi Arabia to the rescue?
Pakistan doesn’t notch up any credit points revealing to the world that its crucial political decisions are taken in/by Saudi Arabia. Yet this has happened once again when General Pervez Musharraf (Retd) — hounded by accusations of treason at home — was invited to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday with full protocol and was probably given assurances that he would not be prosecuted.
Naturally, speculations abound. One is that the Saudi authorities “have formally sent a message to the Pakistani leadership that they want stability in Pakistan, with King Abdullah urging all stakeholders to abide by an agreement that rules out any action against former president Pervez Musharraf”. Another “report” said that King Abdullah had sent to Pakistan a “clear message” that war between the PPP and the PMLN and “any step against Musharraf” could affect the country’s political stability.
No one knows for sure if there was an “agreement” not to prosecute General Musharraf. If there was, who were the parties involved? Yet no one in Pakistan will doubt that the Saudis have stepped in again to prevent Pakistan’s politicians from committing hara-kiri. The King is supposed to have even said that “if a party or an individual backed out of the agreement reached, Pak-Saudi relations would be affected”. And, more tell-tale, Mr Nawaz Sharif is expected to travel to Saudi Arabia where he would be “forced to abide by the agreement”.
What is definitely unreliable rumour-mongering is the “news” that the Saudis have been forced to arrange a “rescue operation” for General Musharraf because he was threatening to make public some shady deal that Mr Sharif, President Zardari and the Saudis had made together. This is more a post-iftar pre-digestive fantasy than a report and will doubtless evaporate as the real news breaks later.
A special relationship has always existed between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan but more recently Saudi “intervention” has taken place to prevent Pakistani politics from breaking rational barriers and descending into violence. The Saudis rescued Mr Sharif from rotting in jail because of their leverage with General Musharraf. They tried to bind Mr Sharif to the “agreement” on restrictive movement, with mixed success. They finally weighed in on his side when General Musharraf made a deal with the Americans to let the PPP leader Ms Benazir Bhutto make a comeback.
It is known to the world that wisdom has fled Pakistan. The country seeks revenge when it should be bothered about the Taliban threat which has hardly disappeared. The Saudis know that our national politics is moving rapidly towards political breakdown because of the multi-directional attacks being launched by politicians against each other, having perhaps reached a point where parliament is of no use. Threats of street battles are being bandied about as the national economy reels from challenges that can be faced only with external help.
Everyone, however, knows that the Pakistan Army doesn’t want to be distracted from its job of fighting the Taliban by a treason case against General Musharraf in which many of its serving and retired officers could be named as accessories. The Saudis, who, more accurately, have a special relationship with the Pakistan Army, also know that it is still the most powerful entity in the country which wishes to remain out of the political melee. Therefore the message from the army, not absorbed inside Pakistan, may be about to be driven home in Saudi Arabia.
It is the familiar PPP-PMLN battle, which has made Pakistan suffer in the past, with PMLQ as the “rejoicing third party” which is currently playing the not so honourable role of egging the two on. A lethal Ramazan War of internal chaos is in the offing unless Saudi Arabia comes to the rescue once again and breaks the clinch. We say this with no sense of pride. Pakistan’s lost external sovereignty is often bemoaned but because of the immaturity and lack of decorum of our politicians we are forced to be grateful that it doesn’t exist.
What is going on is politics of revenge all over again. The adding of General Musharraf to the primitive fires burning in the hearts of our leaders will do Pakistan the kind of damage that can’t be grasped at this stage. This is the wisdom that is easily understood if you are abroad and not a Pakistani. (Daily Times)
Some relevant comments:
hi folks…lets disect the two news reports (just for fun )
DAWN says it was all success for Musharraf, judging from his body language and high spirits, but consider the source of thew news…” the sources close to Musharraf”, of course they will say everything good about the result, so its quite biased.
But what really freakes me out, is what Saleh Zafar has reported, he has not drawn any conclusions, he has given the verdict, in very clear words. So lets imagine, how it could be possible, the only way which comes to my mind is, that HRH King Abdullah, first had the high level govt officials leave the room (according to the news, they left after 45 minutes of the meeting), to talk to ex-president in privacy, and then immediately after saying good bye to Musharraf, picked his phone and went ….”Hello Mr. Saleh, here is the report! here is what I told that looser just now…”
if HRH and MUSH met in privacy, who gave this info to Saleh? if not his royal highness then may be MUSH himself?? haha
The editors of The News are trusting this reporter blindly??
I’m convinced that the departure of President Musharraf from power was according to the deal and the Saudis,Americans and the Government of United Kingdom are main guarantor
of this deal therefore Nawaz Sharif and his party should come down and adjust their differences with ppp and serve the country because Pakistan is facing great challenges and we need unity to bring country out of crises.
Forgiveness is much better than revenge and Almighty Allah likes it and this is the tradition of our Holy Prophet Mohammad (May peace be upon him) and don’t forget that Gen.Musharraf let Nawaz Sharif & his family go to exile in Saudi Arabia after all he was Mian Sahib’s favorite General if Musharraf did some thing wrong he also did many thing positive for this country.
sheiks are already sold there conscience, now ( not exactly NOW) they are forcing us to do so…
سول سوسایٹی اور عوام کو چاہئیے کہ شاہ عبدللہ کو بتائیں کہ اپنی اوقات میں رہیں. مسلمان ہونے کی حثیت سے ہم سعودی حکمرانوں کی بہت عزت کرتے ہیں اور پاکستان کی جو وہ امداد کرتے ہیں اسکو بھی عزت کی نگاہ سے دیکھتے ہیں لیکن اسکا مطلب یہ نہیں کہ وہ ہمآرے اندرونی معاملات میں مداخلت کریں، ہمیں یہ بتائیں کہ ہمارا حکمران کون ہوگا، ہماری عدالتوں کی توہین کریں اور اعلی ترین عدالت کے احکامات کے باوجود ہمارے شہریوں کو اٹھا کر لے جائیں. اگر وہ پاکستان کی مدد کرتے ہیں تو ہماری فوج نے بھی انکے اقتدار کو سہارا دے رکھا ہے ورنہ اب تک وہ کہیں جلاوطنی کی زندگی گزار رہے ہوتے