Leaders of Pakistan's ruling coalition government are meeting in Islamabad, a
day after they successfully pressured President Pervez Musharraf to resign from
office. VOA's Barry Newhouse reports from Islamabad that it appears the leaders
are not considering prosecuting the former president for alleged crimes he
committed while in office.
Last week, when political opponents of
the former president said they were drawing up a long list of impeachable crimes
he allegedly committed while in office, several political factions indicated
they would drop future criminal prosecutions if the president resigned.
exception was the Pakistan Muslim League-N party, whose leader, former Prime
Minister Nawaz Sharif, was overthrown by then General Musharraf in 1999,
convicted and imprisoned on corruption and other charges and then sent into
exile in Saudi Arabia. He returned to Pakistan last year.
On Tuesday, as
he headed into talks with other coalition leaders in Islamabad, Nawaz Sharif
struck a soft tone when he was asked about putting his longtime political
opponent on trial. He says it is not a personal issue for him and it does not
mean that the person who ousted him should face the same fate.
no officials have confirmed Pervez Musharraf left office as part of a deal
guaranteeing he would not be prosecuted, there is a widespread belief that legal
immunity was one of his key demands for stepping down.
talks in Islamabad Tuesday are mainly expected to focus on choosing the
country's next president and what to do about the senior judges that the former
president deposed, last year.