Lahore [Pakistan], Dec. 21 : Former military dictator Pervez Musharraf's claim that the Nawaz Sharif-led government was pressuring courts in cases against him and that former army chief Gen Raheel Sharif came to his rescue, has drawn strong criticism from legal and political circles across the nation, turning the heat on the Centre with calls pouring in that state institutions must come clean on the subject.
According to Dawn, the Prime Minister Office remained tight-lipped about Gen Musharraf's claim that the army influenced the government and helped him in going abroad, even though it issued a brief statement denying several allegations levelled by Musharraf during the interview with a private news channel on Monday.
"Well, he [Gen Raheel] did help me and I am absolutely clear and grateful. I have been his boss and I have been the army chief before him. he helped out, because the cases are politicised, they put me on the ECL [exit control list], they turned it into a political issue," Gen Musharraf said.
He further asserted that the army chief had "a role to play in releasing the pressure behind the scenes", adding that Raheel removed the pressure "the government was putting on the courts".
"Once he [Gen Sharif] got the government to relieve the pressure that they were exerting, the courts gave their judgement and allowed me to go abroad for treatment," he told Dunya News TV.
Following his controversial statement, legal expert now believe that his comment implied that there was an understanding between him and the state institutions.
"Unfortunately Musharraf crossed limits by making such claims against a former COAS. Musharraf should not have talked in a blatant way even if [Gen] Raheel had played a role in this regard," Minister for States and Frontier Regions retired Lt Gen Abdul Qadir Baloch told Geo TV.
Musharraf, who is facing several cases, including treason and murder, and has been declared a proclaimed offender by courts, was allowed to go abroad in March this year after his name was removed from the ECL, with the government claiming that he was allowed to leave because of the court orders.