Musharraf regrets Kayani didn’t help him in treason case

ISLAMABAD: Former military ruler Pervez Musharraf has expressed regret that Pakistan’s recently retired army chief Ashfaq Parvez Kayani did not support him in the face of treason charges.

Musharraf also ruled out making a request for clemency if he is convicted by the special court formed for the high treason trial — the first time a military ruler has faced criminal charges in Pakistan’s history.

The 70-year-old former president expressed regret that Kayani, who was appointed by Musharraf and retired last month, did not support him when he was charged with treason, the Express Tribune reported.

“I will not request pardon (if convicted) … I will not opt for any solution which creates an impression that I acted out of fear,” he said in an interview aired by Express News channel on Sunday night.

Musharraf has been charged with treason for imposing emergency in 2007. If convicted, he faces life imprisonment or death penalty.

“I have no regrets … I came back to Pakistan to face cases against me and because people wanted change,” he said, speaking about his return to the country in March after several years in self-exile.

Musharraf also said he had not expected he would be charged with treason. “Yes, you can say it was my misjudgment … I did not expect Article 6 would be thrown at me,” he said, referring to the constitutional provision that covers treason.

“He (Kayani) was kept in the loop in pretty much all consultations — from those pertaining to internal matters to the Middle East — and he should have submitted an affidavit during proceedings of the Iftikhar Chaudhry case. This is something he should be asked to explain,” Musharraf said.

Kayani was the only senior army commander who did not level allegations against former Supreme Court Chief Justice Chaudhry when Musharraf deposed him in 2007.

Musharraf said it was strange that despite being the one “grieved” by the coup in October 1999, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had so far shown no interest in pursuing treason charges against him.

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