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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 12/01/2014

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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Former military ruler Pervez Musharraf's presence in Pakistan has become a headache for the Nawaz Sharif government, a US newspaper reported.

According to a Los Angeles Times report, General (retd) Musharraf's days in Pakistan appear to be numbered now that the former strongman has spent nearly a week in a military hospital complaining of health problems while avoiding a court appearance on treason charges.

Musharraf's wife has asked the interior ministry for permission for him to travel abroad for medical treatment, and officials close to the country's security services said he could depart within days.

"It is good for everybody - including Musharraf - that he would go out of the country," said a senior security official in Islamabad.

While his possible destination remained unknown, analysts said the former president and army chief's presence in Pakistan has become a political headache for the six-month-old civilian government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

By attempting for the first time to prosecute a former senior military figure, Sharif's government has ignited tensions with an all-powerful army establishment that is loath to see a former leader humiliated in a civilian court, experts say.

Sharif "wants to use him as a bargaining chip to get more leverage against the military, but things could go worse if he keeps on going tough on Musharraf", said Raza Rumi, a political analyst in Islamabad.

"Musharraf's safety is part of the army's core interests, while with every passing day it would become tougher for the government not to try him," said Ayesha Siddiqa, a security and political analyst. "The political temperature would keep on rising as long as his case remained pending."

 






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