ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan has conditionally allowed former president Pervez Musharraf to file nomination papers for the elections. The court was hearing a case on whether the former military ruler was eligible to run for public office.
Musharraf’s lawyer Qamar Afzal appealed to the court to throw out the Lahore High Court’s lifetime ban on him contesting elections and heading a political party. The lawyer said that his client wanted to contest the July 25 election and they wanted to file nomination papers.
Chief Justice Saqib Nisar said Musharraf could be permitted to submit his documents if he returned home next week, but the high court’s decision could not be annulled. His nomination papers will be accepted depending on the high court’s orders. He must personally appear in court.
We also assure that he will not be arrested upon his return, the chief justice said. “We can revoke his disqualification only if he arrives in Pakistan and faces the courts. Ask him to appear by June 13,” the CJP said.
In March 2016, Musharraf left for London after three years of being banned from international travel. The former army chief, who took power in a 1999 coup, is facing charges of treason.
He was nominated in the Benazir Bhutto murder case. An anti-terrorism court in August 2017 declared Musharraf an absconder. NNI