LAHORE: The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday ruled that former military dictator Gen Pervez Musharraf can conditionally file his nomination papers for the upcoming general elections.
The ruling came a few days after Musharraf’s All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) at a meeting decided to take part in the elections and field him from at least four seats of National assembly including NA-1 Chitral from where his party won the 2013 elections.
On Thursday, a three-judge bench, headed by the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar, resumed in Lahore the hearing of Musharraf’s review petition against his disqualification by the Peshawar High Court in 2013. The bench directed the former military ruler to appear before the court on June 13 at the top court’s Lahore registry.
The bench said the APML chief would not be arrested on arrival. Musharraf’s lawyer Qamar Afzal informed the court of ECP’s deadline to submit nomination forms. At this, the top court directed Musharraf’s legal counsel to submit the nomination papers with the condition that the outcome depends on the SC’s final verdict and the ECP will accept the nomination papers.
APML General Secretary Dr MOhammad Amjad confirmed that Musharraf had decided to return to Pakistan after Eidul Fitr and run for the election from the four seats. He made these announcements while speaking at a press conference before the iftar-dinner hosted by the party where APML chief organiser Syed Faqeer Hussain Bukhari was also present.
“However, the exact date of his return will be announced after the Supreme Court decides on the review petition filed against Musharraf’s disqualification in 2013,” Dr Amjad said, adding that Musharraf plans on running elections this year.
In April 2013, Peshawar High Court disqualified Musharraf for life holding him ineligible to contest elections. A four-member larger bench of the PHC 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.
Musharraf set to lead 23-party alliance
The APML secretary also announced that Pervez Musharraf would visit the country even if the SC verdict is not in his favour and would actively lead the election campaign for his party. Dr Amjad further said that party candidates will be announced in a few days after talks with allied parties.
Dr Amjad further said that the party’s decision to contest elections across the country was taken on June 1 in a meeting in Dubai which was presided by Musharraf. –Published in Express Tribune