Nawaz questions SC’s conditional directive to let Musharraf file nomination papers
Islamabad, Jun 08: Ousted premier Nawaz Sharif on Friday raised questions over the Supreme Court’s directive allowing Gen Pervez Musharraf to file his nomination papers to contest July 25 general elections on the condition that he would appear in person before the court on June 13 in Lahore to attend the court hearing.
A three-judge bench headed by CJP Nisar had on Thursday taken up retd Gen Musharraf’s plea against his 2013 disqualification for life by the Peshawar High Court. The high court had disqualified Musharraf in view of the July 31, 2009 judgment in which the imposition of emergency on Nov 3, 2007 was declared illegal.
Following his disqualification in April 2013, Musharraf’s nomination papers for Karachi’s NA-250 seat in the polls that year were rejected by the returning officer on the grounds that he had held in abeyance and suspended the Constitution on Nov 3, 2007, detained and removed a number of superior court judges and publicly insulted then chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.
CJP Nisar on Thursday said that if Musharraf submitted his nomination papers, they would be received by the RO, but also cautioned that the fate of the papers would be subject to the final decision in the present case.
Speaking to media representatives outside the accountability court today, Sharif said it was beyond comprehension that Musharraf had been permitted to contest the elections.
“How could the chief justice extend such an offer to someone accused of high treason?” Sharif alleged.
He expressed surprise, asking “Is there any law which can empower someone sitting in a high office to give assurance to a military dictator who is facing a high treason case, the Akbar Bugti murder case, the Benazir murder case, judges’ detention case and was involved in Lal Masjid operation? ”
“On the other hand, the same court disqualified me from holding office in my own political party, removed me from the office of prime minister, and barred me from contesting elections for life on the charge that I had not received a salary from my son,” Sharif said.
“This is something which is beyond my understanding, and the nation is also surprised as to how the court may relax rules for one accused of high treason,” he further alleged.
“It means that if someone abrogates the law, he will get bail directly from the chief justice, even if there is no provision in the law,” he alleged.
“While Musharraf has been offered such a relaxation, my plea for just three days exemption from appearing in court was turned down,” the ousted premier said, adding that he had wished to visit his ailing wife Kulsoom Nawaz, who is currently undergoing treatment for cancer in London.
Musharraf was charged with high treason in December 2013 and indicted in the case on March 31, 2014. The trial remained suspended after the special court in November 2014 ordered a reinvestigation into the case to identify any abettors in the imposition of emergency in November 2007.
In addition to the treason trial, Musharraf is facing a number of criminal cases.
The former military dictator left for Dubai in 2016 to ‘seek medical treatment’ and has not returned since.