Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has disclosed that he allowed Nawaz Sharif to move out of Pakistan on the advice of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah.
According to a report in The Nation, Musharraf told a private channel that when he visited Saudi Arabia in 2000, King Abdullah advised him that a blood once spilled was never going to wash away.
“He gave me this advice. It was a good advice. And I had never wanted to spill any blood anyway,” Musharraf said.
Musharraf also added that King Abdullah had told him that Nawaz Sharif was his personal friend.
Musharraf denied that he ever wanted Nawaz Sharif to be hanged.
“It never even occurred to me. I remember what King Abdullah said to me. He always thought of me as a younger brother, and he genuinely felt so. I had no plans to spill any blood anyway. I was never going to hang Nawaz. It couldn’t be done,” he said.
“So I told him that it was never on my mind. Then he said that Nawaz had been the head of Pakistan, and he has developed relations with us, and when somebody develops relations with me, I owe some sincerity to him. Then he told me that he wanted to help. He went on to say some other things as well that I couldn’t understand. I didn’t know what he actually wanted; whether he wanted Nawaz to be sent to Saudi Arabia or what. So I came back to Pakistan,” he added.
Musharraf also disclosed the role played by Lebanon President Rafique Hariri in ensuring safe passage for Nawaz Sharif.
“It was later that the then Lebanon President Rafique Hariri, who had become a very good friend of mine and had very close relations with King Abdullah as well, told me that the king was offended with me as I hadn’t fulfilled some request by him,” he said.
According to Musharraf, he later went to Saudi Arabia and asked King Abdullah what was the issue.
“Then he said the same things again, like a friend is a friend and things like that. Then he said very clearly that Nawaz could come to Saudi Arabia and I run my country,” he added.
Musharraf said that he discussed the matter with his cabinet members and senior military officers and that he succeeded in convincing them for allowing Musharraf to move over to Saudi Arabia.