Gilani says he has 'no love lost' for Musharraf

Last Updated 17 September 2009, 12:45 IST

Gilani said he was neither aware of nor part of any deal for giving Musharraf safe passage after he quit as President last year.
"I have no love lost for Musharraf," he said.
Reports about a safe exit being provided to Musharraf did the rounds in Islamabad after President Asif Ali Zardari reportedly told journalists on Monday that the former military ruler stepped down in the wake of a negotiated settlement guaranteed by international and local stakeholders.
Stung by criticism from opposition parties, the presidential spokesman denied Zardari had made the remarks. However, newspapers today quoted reporters who said they had heard Zardari making the comments.
One reporter quoted Zardari as saying that "local, regional and international stakeholders were the guarantors" of the deal with Musharraf.
Gilani said he was not aware of any deal reached with foreign players to give indemnity to Musharraf.

"As for all this talk about some deal having been concluded with Musharraf, you would be right in calling it a deal either the day his actions are indemnified by parliament or if he were to be convicted some day and then pardoned by President Zardari," the premier told reporters at a dinner last night.
Explaining his recent comments that Musharraf’s trial on charges of treason for imposing emergency in 2007 was "not doable", Gilani said that while he fully favoured the trial of the former President, it would not be an easy task as some of his "abettors and supporters" are part of the current political structure.
"He (Musharraf) did not act alone. There were abettors, supporters, implementers and other parties, including political parties and leaders, who remained part of his government and political apparatus and even today are present in the current political and power structure," Gilani said.
Charges of treason would apply to everyone who had abetted Musharraf and implemented his policies, he said. Some of these persons are in the ranks of the ruling Pakistan People's Party and the opposition PML-N.
"How many do you put on trial? Where does it begin and end?" Gilani asked.

Gilani said he still believed that parliament alone could pardon Musharraf or put him on trial him. He said that when he asked political parties demanding Musharraf's trial "to do what is doable", he meant that anything decided unanimously by parliament could help the government to initiate an inquiry and a trial.
Replying to another question, he said, "If parliament is united then such a trial could only mean good for the country but otherwise, its consequences could be very damaging."
He said in case of a division in parliament, the beneficiary will be dictatorship while democracy will emerge as a loser.

(Published 17 September 2009, 12:45 IST)

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