LAHORE, May 2: Hearing petition of former military ruler Gen Pervez Musharraf (retired) against his disqualification from polls, a Lahore High Court full bench on Thursday remarked that every citizen had right to contest election subject to fulfillment of the criteria laid down in the Constitution.

At the outset of the hearing, the bench asked Barrister Salman Safdar, counsel of Musharraf, to read the text of oath military men take at the time of their recruitment.

“Whether jumping in the politics was violation of the oath,” the bench asked the counsel after he concluded the reading.

The counsel, however, argued that in decision of Sindh High Court Bar Association’s case, the Supreme Court used the word of “abrogation” on one occasion. He said no court had convicted Musharraf for abrogation of the Constitution. First he (Musharraf) was seen off with guard of honour and now he was being treated like a terrorist, the counsel added.

The bench observed that Musharraf was not a defaulter of Wasa or any other government department but facing charges of usurping the Constitution.

Barrister Safdar said contesting election was a separate issue but Musharraf mainly wanted to get the stigma of “abrogation” put on him removed. At this the bench asked the counsel to approach the same court which, according to him, had put the stigma on his client. On the request of the counsel, the bench adjourned further hearing till May 6.

The former military ruler and chief of All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) had challenged rejection of his nomination papers by the returning officer of NA-139, Kasur. An election tribunal of the court had also upheld the decision of the RO.

It was stated in the petition that neither Musharraf was convicted by any court nor the allegations leveled on him had been proved.

The petitioner said the RO while rejecting his nomination papers wrongly invoked provisions of Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution.

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