Dawn News

President Asif Ali Zardari confirmed on Monday that the ‘safe exit’ of former president Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf was the result of a ‘deal’ arranged by international powers with interests in South Asia. He didn’t name the international players but said that they were ‘guarantor’.

During an informal chat with a group of journalists at the Presidency, the president said the guarantors had decided that ‘Musharraf would play golf in his post-presidential life’.

Political analysts here believe that the present government was a party to the deal and the former president had left the country with its consent.

Gen Musharraf’s statement that Pakistan Muslim League-N chief Nawaz Sharif had assured Saudi King Abdullah that he would not seek his trial for subverting the Constitution indicated that the international players had sought a guarantee from the government and the Pakistan People’s Party that he would be protected.

President Zardari indicated that Gen (retd) Musharraf would live a peaceful and secure life.

It is believed that because of interventions by the governments of Saudi Arabia and the US, both the PPP-led government and Mr Sharif have softened their stance and there is a notable reduction in the harshness of PML-N’s rhetoric against Gen Musharraf.

The PML-N has been accusing Gen Musharraf of distorting the Constitution and illegally imposing emergency on Nov 3, 2007, and seeking his trial for high treason.