Page last updated at 08:05 GMT, Tuesday, 15 September 2009 09:05 UK

Musharraf guaranteed 'safe exit'

Pervez Musharraf
Pakistani police have registered cases against Mr Musharraf

Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari says foreign powers with "interest" in the region guaranteed a "safe exit" to his predecessor Pervez Musharraf.

Mr Zardari did not name any country, but Pakistan's main opposition party PML-N says Mr Musharraf was "guaranteed immunity by Saudi Arabia and the UK".

The party wants Mr Musharraf tried for treason and has accused the government of dragging its feet on the issue.

Mr Zardari made the comments at an informal dinner meeting with reporters.

'Other things'

President Zardari said he had been party to negotiations that led to the guarantee of a safe exit for Mr Musharraf when he resigned as president last year.

"During those talks it was decided that after quitting power, Mr Musharraf will play golf, but now he is doing other things," Mr Zardari said.

Police in Pakistan have filed at least two cases of murder and illegal conduct against Mr Musharraf, but court hearings have not yet begun in either case.

Mr Musharraf has been living in London for more than four months and early this month he was invited by the Saudi king for an audience.

Last week, the Saudi king also met PML-N leader, Nawaz Sharif, who was in Saudi Arabia on a pilgrimage.

These meetings are widely seen as part of Saudi efforts to prevent any developments that would upset Pakistan's fragile military-civilian balance and destabilise its political system.

In a television interview on Sunday, Mr Musharraf said he had been assured by the Saudi king that Nawaz Sharif would not press for his trial.

Mr Sharif's party wants Mr Musharraf tried in court "for violating the constitution and imposing emergency rule in the country in November 2007".

Relations between Mr Zardari's Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and the PML-N hit a low last month when the latter accused him of stalling legal action against Mr Musharraf.

Ahsan Iqbal, a PML-N leader, told journalists that in closed door negotiations Mr Zardari had "categorically told us that Saudi Arabia and the UK were guarantors" in a deal that provided Mr Musharraf with "safe exit" from power.

Mr Musharraf has been commenting on Pakistani politics and economy lately, and many observers say he may have political ambitions.

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