ID :
Wed, 08/20/2008 - 10:38
Auther :

Musharraf may go for Mecca pilgrimage, lawmakers for trial

Islamabad, Aug 19 (PTI) Pervez Musharraf spent his first day out of office on Tuesday in an army bungalow mulling his future amid reports that he would soon be travelling to Mecca to perform pilgrimage even as demands were made in theNational Assembly that he should be put to trial.

After 44 years in service, Musharraf, who resigned on Monday as President in the face of imminent impeachment, has moved with his family to the garrison city of Rawalpindi where he is staying in the army chief's house, his own farmhousedwelling on the outskirts of Islamabad not ready yet.

Questions persisted about his next destination with the focus continuing to be on Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States. There was no authentic word on the subject butit looked very likely that he will not stay on in Pakistan.

Media reports suggested that Musharraf had stepped down following an agreement with the coalition government that he would be provided security and that he would not be tried for any actions taken by him during nine years at thehelm.

The Pakistan Army chief Gen. Ashfaque Parvez Kayani and the governments of the U.S., the U.K. and Saudi Arabia are said to have been the guarantors of this agreement, accordingto these reports.

Musharraf is likely to undertake a trip to Mecca for performing 'umra' and from there may go to the U.S. to meet his younger brother Naved, a doctor who lives in Chicago and his son Bilal, who has a residence in Boston, these reportssaid.

Ahead of a crucial meeting of Pakistan's ruling coalition that may decide on a safe exit for Musharraf, parliamentarians demanded that the ex-military ruler shouldface trial for his actions.

Participating in a debate in the National Assembly on the resignation of Musharraf, some lawmakers from the treasury benches belonging to Pakistan People's Party and Pakistan Muslim League (N) said he deserved to be awarded capitalpunishment for his actions.

They said Musharraf should not be allowed to leave the country but made to face a "fair and transparent trial" incourt.

On the other hand, members of the opposition Pakistan Muslim League(Quaid-e-Azam) and Muttahida Quami Movement put up a stout defence of Musharraf saying the government should not indulge in politics of vengeance since he had alreadyresigned.

Meanwhile, the son of Baloch nationalist leader Nawab Akbar Bugti, who was killed in a military operation authorised by Musharraf, has submitted an application to the police toregister a case against the former ruler.

Nawabzada Talal Akbar Bugti, who heads a faction of the Jamhoori Watan Party, submitted an application to Quetta city police station for lodging an F.I.R. against Musharraf in connection with the murder of his father and 66 other peopleof his tribe.

However, Bugti's son was that under the law the case could be filed only in the police station of the area where hewas killed.

Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, rejected reports that one of its planes was waiting in Islamabad to transport Musharraf to the kingdom, which had also sheltered former premier Nawaz Sharif after his ouster in a bloodless army coup by the General inOctober 1999.

The kingdom was interested in "security, stability and sovereignty of Pakistan and will not interfere in internal political affairs" of its close ally, Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan Ali Awad Esseiri was quoted as saying by 'Okaz'daily.