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Pak SC orders NADRA to unblock Musharraf’s CNIC, passport

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Islamabad, Jun 11 :  Pakistan’s Supreme Court today ordered that the national identity card and passport of Pervez Musharraf be unblocked so that he can return to the country, days after the apex court allowed the former dictator to file his nomination papers to contest the July 25 general polls.

A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar was hearing the case pertaining to former military ruler’s return to Pakistan from the UAE.

National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) Chairperson Usman Mobin told the court that Musharraf, 74, could not return to Pakistan as his computerised national identity card (CNIC) and passport were blocked.

Nisar remarked that the apex court had given the protection to Musharraf until his return to Pakistan that he will not be arrested from the airport to the court then blocking his CNIC and passport can only hinder the process of his return.

“Why would you block the card? To give him a reason to not return? Musharraf should return and face the cases against him,” Mubeen was quoted as saying by the Dawn.

Earlier, the Interior Ministry had issued directives to NADRA and the Directorate General of Immigration and Passports to suspend Musharraf’s CNIC and passport in compliance with the order of a special court conducting a treason trial against the former president.

The CJP ordered that Musharraf’s CNIC and passport be unblocked and also reiterated his June 7 order that the former military ruler should not be arrested on his way to court from the airport.

He also issued an order stating that a tribunal be formed within two days to conduct the pending treason trial against Musharraf.

Musharraf, who is the head of All Pakistan Muslim League (APML), has been residing in Dubai since March 2016 after leaving the county on medical grounds.

He is facing a high-profile treason case and has been declared absconder due to his persistent failure to appear before the special trial court set up to try him in the case.

The former president was indicted in March 2014 on treason charges for imposing emergency in the country which led to the confinement of a number of superior court judges in their houses and sacking of over 100 judges.

A conviction for high-profile treason carries the death penalty or life imprisonment.

Musharraf has sought adequate security from the government for his return from the UAE to appear before a special Pakistani court in the high-profile treason case.

Musharraf, who ruled Pakistan from 1999 to 2008, has been declared a fugitive in the Benazir Bhutto murder case and Red Mosque cleric killing case.

In April 2013, Peshawar High Court (PHC) disqualified Musharraf for life holding him ineligible to contest elections. A four-member bench of the PHC had also dismissed Musharraf’s appeal against his disqualification.

In the same month, Musharraf’s nomination papers were rejected from all the constituencies he had applied for.

His nomination papers for Karachi, Islamabad and Chitral were earlier rejected by the returning officers. He was given a chance to appeal against the decision in the election tribunal, but the appeal was also rejected.

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