Lahore, July 18 (ANI): With the Supreme Court acquitting former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the plane hijacking case, a well-known editor of a Pakistani English daily has claimed that the plan to divert the aircraft carrying the then Chief of Army Staff General Pervez Musharraf was a pre-planned move on Sharif's part.
During a special programme on a private television channel, Daily Times Editor-in-Chief Najam Sethi said after the Kargil conflict in 1999 there existed a hidden enmity between Sharif and Pervez.
"Nawaz was worried the army, under General Musharraf, might stage a coup, while Musharraf feared that he may be removed from office," Sethi said.
Sethi blamed Sharif of igniting trouble by issuing Musharraf's dismissal orders when he was not present in the country.
"I don't think the army chief would've staged a coup had Nawaz not done what he did," The Daily Times quoted Sethi, as saying.
Commenting on the apex court's verdict acquitting Sharif and overturning the Sindh High Court's decision which had awarded life imprisonment to the former premier, he said: "This was basically a Musharraf-engineered blemish on the PML-N leader."
Sharif, as a deposed Prime Minister, was convicted on a charge of hijacking by the court after he ordered that an aircraft bringing the then General Musharraf from Sri Lanka, should not be allowed to land in Karachi.
He was subsequently dismissed and given a life sentence, which was commuted after he agreed to go into exile in Saudi Arabia.
Sharif was also disqualified from contesting elections because of his conviction in the plane hijacking case, but later the Supreme Court quashed the verdict, and declared him eligible for contesting elections. (ANI)