UK diplomat`s meetings in Pak spark speculation of Mush deal

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - 15:39

Islamabad: Contacts between top Pakistani
leaders and a British diplomat, who was previously involved in
back-channel parleys to resolve political issues here, have
triggered speculation that the UK is engaged in efforts to
ward off the possible trial of ex-President Pervez Musharraf
on charges of treason.

Mark Lyall Grant, a former High Commissioner to Pakistan
who is currently Director General for political affairs in the
British Foreign Office, called on President Asif Ali Zardari
yesterday and met main opposition PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif in
Lahore this afternoon.

An official statement issued after Grant`s meeting with
Zardari said they had discussed matters regarding bilateral
relations but sources told that the fate of Musharraf was
high on the agenda of the British diplomat, who speaks Urdu
fluently and is considered an old Pakistan hand.

The sources said the possibility of Musharraf being
tried for treason also figured in Grant`s parleys with Sharif
as the PML-N has been pushing for the former military ruler to
be held accountable since Pakistan`s Supreme Court ruled last
month that the emergency imposed by him in November 2007 was
illegal and unconstitutional.

The apex court`s verdict has raised the possibility of
Musharraf being tried for treason. However, such a trial can
be initiated only by the government.

Bureau Report



First Published: Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - 15:39

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