The US had asked Pakistani leadership not to humiliate Pervez Musharraf after he stepped down as the country’s President on the promise of indemnity against prosecution, according to WikiLeaks cables. “Don’t humiliate Musharraf. He should be treated as an elderly statesman in Pakistan and it would be good for the country’s image if he would be allowed to stay in the country,” the then US Ambassador to Islamabad Ann Paterson had told Pakistani leaders.
It was only on the promise of indemnity against prosecution for the imposition of Emergency, sacking of judges after which he stepped down, the cables disclosed. “Tell the most powerful man in the world (US President) there is no way I would go back on what I have said,” PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari had said.
Musharraf was the 10th President of Pakistan and retired 4-star general in the Pakistan Army who led an administrative military government from 1999 till 2007. He took power on October 12, 1999 through a bloodless military coup on the democratically elected government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. On August 18, 2008 he resigned under impeachment pressure from the coalition government of the Pakistan People’s Party. As of May 2011, he lives in self-exile in London and has vowed to return for the next election.