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Zardari wants passport, protection

Source: PTI
December 17, 2004 15:24 IST
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Asif Ali Zardari, husband of former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, has filed a petition in the Sindh High Court seeking government protection and issuance of a passport to enable him to go abroad for medical treatment and meet his family.

Zardari, who was released from prison November 22 after eight years of imprisonment in connection with various criminal and corruption cases, has approached the court amidst strong objection from the government that he has been denied of holding a passport, media reports said.

Interior Minister Aftab Sherpao said the government has not received any application from Zardari.

In his petition Zardari asked the court to delete his name from the exit control list (ECL), a black list of people barred from leaving the country. He also appealed to the court to direct the provincial government to provide him security and allow him to install tinted glass on his cars, said the Daily Times.

No deal with Musharraf, says Zardari

Zardari also told the court that during his eight years in jail he suffered from several serious ailments including chronic back problem. He said in the petition that he wanted to go abroad for treatment and to see his wife, whom he had not seen for eight long years.

Benazir Bhutto, who headed the mainstream opposition Pakistan Peoples Party, (PPP) lives abroad in order to avoid arrest in cases filed against her. Zardari in his petition argued that he was not convicted in any case currently and keeping his name on the ECL was illegal and unconstitutional.

In another petition, Zardari alleged that the government had tried to kill him twice during his eight years in detention and on failure to do so, implicated him in false cases of attempting to commit suicide. However, the courts acquitted him of those charges.

He had been continuously receiving threats of murder immediately after his release on bail, and the Sindh chief minister had conceded that his life was in danger, Zardari said.

More reports from Pakistan


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