Musharraf allowed to run for Chitral seat

Published Apr 08, 2013 02:01am

Musharraf_AFP_1_670
Former president Pervez Musharraf.—Photo by AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: Retired Gen Pervez Musharraf who returned to the country last month with a slogan to “save Pakistan” is now struggling to save himself and stay relevant in the coming polls after rejection of his nomination papers in three out of four constituencies.

The rejection of the former military ruler’s nomination papers by the returning officers for the National Assembly constituencies in Islamabad (NA 48) and Karachi (NA 250) came on Sunday, a day before the Supreme Court is set to take up five petitions seeking his prosecution for high treason and for stopping him from participating in the polls.

A bench comprising Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain will hear the petitions filed by representatives of various bar associations and some other lawyers, asking the court to convict the former dictator for abrogating the constitution and to stop him from taking part in the polls.

Earlier, the nomination papers of Gen Musharraf, who had formed his own party, the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML), had been rejected by the returning officer (RO) in Kasur (NA 139).

Although the RO for NA 32 in Chitral accepted Gen Musharraf’s papers on the ground that the ex-president had not been convicted in any case, his plan to contest the polls could be jeopardised because the lawyers have announced that they will challenge the decision in high court.

The ROs in Karachi, Islamabad and Kasur rejected Gen Musharraf’s papers on the basis of articles 62 and 63 of the constitution for his act of imposing emergency in the country in November 2007 in violation of the constitution and for keeping judges of the superior judiciary under unlawful detention. The ex-military ruler was also accused of not disclosing his source of income in his nomination papers whereas he has declared assets worth more than Rs760 million.

Besides lawyers’ bodies, Gen Musharraf’s papers had also been challenged by the candidates of various parties, including the PML-N, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and Jamaat-i-Islami.

The former army chief, who had returned to Pakistan on March 24, ending his four-year self-exile, is living in his heavily-guarded fortress-like farmhouse in Islamabad’s Chak Shahzad locality. Granting pre-arrest bail to the APML chief in the murder cases of Baloch leader Nawab Akbar Bugti and former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, the Sindh High Court had already barred him from travelling abroad.

Gen Musharraf, who had announced that he was ready to defend charges against him in courts, is expected to convene a meeting of his legal team to devise the strategy to face the legal challenges he has been facing since his return to the country.

When contacted, an APML leader and a member of Gen Musharraf’s legal team, Ahmed Raza Kasuri, said so far the party had not decided about filing appeals against rejection of the papers before the election tribunals. “We will discuss this in a meeting to be called tomorrow or a day after,” he said, adding that the decision would be made in the light of the attitude being shown by the judiciary.

Mr Kasuri, who is also the covering candidate for Gen Musharraf for the NA seat in Islamabad, alleged that the rejection of the papers had put a question mark on the fairness of the elections. He said the ROs’ decisions had sent a “negative message” abroad as Gen Musharraf was known internationally.

Mr Kasuri said it was heartening that the RO in Chitral had accepted Mr Musharraf’s papers.

When asked if there was any possibility that Gen Musharraf might not contest the polls from Chitral in protest against rejection of his papers for other seats, he said: “That is a secure seat for him and I don’t think he has any such plan.”

When asked whether Gen Musharraf would appear before the Supreme Court to face petitions about treason charges, Mr Kasuri claimed that so far he had not received any notice from the court.

According to the supplementary cause list issued by the SC for Monday, the bench 3 will hear the petitions filed by the Lahore High Court Bar Association, chairman Barrister Amjad Malik of the Association of Pakistani Lawyers in the UK, Moulvi Iqbal Haider, Sheikh Ahsanuddin and Abdul Hakim Khan, former chairman of the Pakistan Bar Council.

The returning officer of NA 32, Chitral, accepted the nomination papers of Gen Musharraf, dismissing seven identical petitions seeking his disqualification.

In his detailed order, the returning officer, Additional District and Sessions Judge Mohammad Jamal Khan, said no pending case had been decided against the nominee.

The returning officer also rejected a number of other objections raised against Gen Musharraf, including dissimilarities in his signatures in the nomination form and the authority letter issued in the name of Shahzada Khalid Pervez.

The parties opposing the acceptance of the nomination papers decided to challenge the decision in the Election Tribunal in Peshawar.

In Karachi, Returning Officer Syed Ikramur Rehman turned down the candidature of the former military ruler for NA 250 after examining his papers and hearing the objectors and the proposer and seconder of the candidate.

He said in his order that it was a matter of record that the candidate being chief of army staff and president of Pakistan had held the constitution in suspension on Nov 3, 2007, removed and detained a majority of the judges of the superior judiciary and publicly insulted Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.

These acts of Gen Musharraf were declared mala fide, unconstitutional and without jurisdiction by the Supreme Court in 2009, he said.

Heavy security had been deployed in and around the Karachi city courts in view of expected visit of Gen Musharraf but he did not turn up. His seconder and proposer, along with a lawyer, appeared before the returning officer and contended that the candidate had never been convicted by any court and only allegations had been leveled against him.

Zahiruddin in Chitral and Ishaq Tanoli in Karachi contributed to the report


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Comments (35) Closed




Shahpur
Apr 08, 2013 03:01am
let us see how Musharraf sets the stage, I think Musharraf will fight, but we do not know, let us see what he says. A trial is good for Musharaff and good for Pakistan.
Mohammed Yahya USA
Apr 08, 2013 03:48am
I just wonder is he Mr. Musharraf the 1st ever to come back & run for election. R other candidates worried about their chance or if they don't like competition.
Mustafa
Apr 08, 2013 04:24am
Keep an eye on Mohammad Jamal Khan's, the RO in Chitral who accepted Mush's papers, career and bank balance. I am keen to see his 'reward' for failing to remember that in 2009 SC has already declared Mush's second emergency illegal. To say that Mush is not convicted is, therefore, a false statement on behalf of going to be rich RO.
Faran Ali
Apr 08, 2013 04:36am
how come he is allowed from Chitral and not from Kasur? if he has been cleared once from one seat he can contest from any seat then. What rubbish are the ROs doing...
Parmeshwar
Apr 08, 2013 04:41am
This is very interesting. Why is General Musharraf being denied from filing his candidature from these seats? Has he been convicted of a crime yet? In at least one area he was not disqualified. In other areas he was denied from running. Does Pakistan follow one law, the same at all the places applied equally inside Pakistan? I realize that there were certain things done during his regime that maybe termed unconstitutional but these subsequently were endorsed by the courts of those days.To deny him from running will only show the lack of fairness of the electoral process in Pakistan which will doubtless be watched carefully by the world. Let him win or loose by his merits if he may. Else we may make him a hero without his winning a single seat!
Fida I rahmat
Apr 08, 2013 05:48am
Being a Chitrali, never and never forget Musharaf
Azad
Apr 08, 2013 06:04am
it is quite unfair and basied decision of RO's, and on part of SC who always acting as unpartial but apprantly allows all the curropt leaders of PPP, PML-N, PML-Q, MQM & ANP to continue there office even after their convitions e.g RAJA PERVAIZ ASHRAF and brings no remarkable results against killing of innocnet people and Ulama-e-Din in Karachi, might be they are waiting some great massacer and then become heros to give resolution. No results against conviction of Mr. Iftikhar Chudrys son and Malik Riaz may all all charges against then are white washed. Mr. Iftikhar Choudry and the lawyer parties are planning to take their personal revange with Gen. Pervaiz Musharaf and they all are good for nothing. They are just playing hide and seak on Mr. Zardari Case and Shah Zaib Case on many other cases and remain paid.
M A Mujeeb
Apr 08, 2013 06:19am
I have a feeling that, as Fakhru Bhai is reported to have raised the question whether Elections will really take place, election 2013 will not take place. Instead "selection" is expected to take place..
irfan
Apr 08, 2013 07:40am
"The ROs in Karachi, Islamabad and Kasur rejected Gen Musharraf
Darawal
Apr 08, 2013 07:50am
He is allowed to run from Chitral but not other areas.... Strange rules?
Venkatesh
Apr 08, 2013 08:10am
pakistan is not much different from india, corrupt politicians rule in both places,
Tariq
Apr 08, 2013 11:35am
We as nation are well aware of the Ex COAS/President's (mis)deed's during his "forced" tenure in the office but he should be deemed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Why is every one after getting his "pound of flesh" by being judge and jury! The RO's are over stepping their powers unless they are directed otherwise by the courts'.
TKhan
Apr 08, 2013 12:22pm
It is amazing, how some people are reacting to rejections of Gen. Musharraf nomination papers. He was honored and glorified for toppling a democratically elected government. And now being sympathized for rejections of his nomination under a democratic process. This man has no party, no constituency; and does not know the ABC of politics. When in power despite being a dictator, he did show a beam for a better Pakistan, however became intoxicated with Power (and also with other colored drinks) and totally forgot his promises. He did politicking for almost 10 years and keeping up with the traditions, the politicians he chose doomed him. General, you had a chance and you blew it. May you Rest in Peace in your political death!
Azad
Apr 08, 2013 12:22pm
Hope media could inform Mr. Iftikhar that Mr. Zardari is no more President and the know he can be trailed if and only if he and his loby is intereseted to do so and his!
Jamshed Khan
Apr 08, 2013 12:22pm
Is he worse than Zardari?
Agha Ata (USA)
Apr 08, 2013 01:49pm
Difficult to tell.
Arshad Hussain
Apr 08, 2013 02:52pm
A criminal of the law is the on the path of treason trial by Honourable Supreme Court of Pakistan, The court has summoned him through Islamabad police thereby placing his name on the ECL list. His filing papers will ultimately be rejected in the due course of time !
jd shami
Apr 08, 2013 04:22pm
YES
jd shami
Apr 08, 2013 04:24pm
Actually, he should be prosecuted and hanged.
Zee Paki in USA
Apr 08, 2013 05:08pm
Be careful with your "facts", Mustafa. The supreme court, while the non-PCO judges were set aside, did allow the emergency rule as consitutiotnal, just as the 1999 act was judged constitutional. It is the non-PCO judges, while they were suspended, that held a separate meeting called it unconstitutional. So which one applies? This is not so clearcut as you think. The current supreme court speaks from both sides of its mouth.
Zee Paki in USA
Apr 08, 2013 05:17pm
This is a bad reflection on the election commission's competency. Should they not have trained these ROs and ensured each one applies the legal aspect rather than their bias and judgement? If the law says a candidate can only be rejecetd once they have been convicted then why are these ROs not applying the law? Incompetency rules high in Pakistan.
jd shami
Apr 08, 2013 06:01pm
Mush will fight, you must be kidding. This so called commando has taken his pants off many times in the past.
Abdullah Hussain
Apr 08, 2013 06:09pm
Revenge & enmity should not hold grounds in the case of Pervaiz Musharraf. He may be given a free hand to defend himself. Excepting his papers from Chitral while rejecting from other two places is strange
Rehan Shah
Apr 08, 2013 06:23pm
I agree!
ali ahmed
Apr 08, 2013 07:46pm
articles 62 and 63 was added to the constitution by a dictator zia ul haq
Dr.M.M.Khan
Apr 08, 2013 07:55pm
Musharraf is a civilian now. He wants to prove his mettle as a poltician. What are we afraid off---his sucess?
marghoob ahmed siddiqui
Apr 08, 2013 08:36pm
No doubt he is better than all present leaders who have ruled Pakistan, but without considerable representation in NA he caqn;t rule or make any change. Regrettable.
Shahpur
Apr 08, 2013 10:21pm
Musharaff is important, and he will set the stage, for the elections, and he is doing it wisely.
Fazal Karim
Apr 08, 2013 10:32pm
Unless a bench of the supreme court hear and decide a case filed by government , no body has right to stop Pervaiz Mushaff from fighting election. President Zardari once said democracy is the best revenge. By letting Ex President taking part in the election and its results, we will know the nations mood towards politicians and army rulers. It is wrong to say that he was a dictator. Duly elected parliament was working and elections were held during his tenure. If a case of treason has to be filed, then all the members of parliament and courts who cooperated with army rulers should be tried along with Pervaiz Musharraf.
EXAMINER
Apr 08, 2013 10:37pm
Let their be a direct election fight between Nawaz, Zardari, Imran and Aslan Iftikhar a nominee of chaudhri sahebans.
Bbbb
Apr 09, 2013 01:07am
@Venkatesh Yes it is pretty much different than India. It is situated to the west of India, and has an area and the population much smaller than India. Plus its citizens watch more Indian movies per head than the Indians themselves.
Bbbb
Apr 09, 2013 01:16am
@Shahpur He is a well known commando. He will wiggle his way out of this problem. Do you think being a commando, he has ventured to the elections in Pakistan, without an exit strategy? Now it all depends on how his backers in the establishment behave. Do they invest on a dead horse or not. Is he delusional or not.
murtazarzai
Apr 09, 2013 05:20am
how strange that law or rules vary according to constituency for same person?looks like constitution in pakistan vary according to latitude and longitude or totally depends on RO personal intrest.
Sayeed Altaf Hussein
Apr 09, 2013 10:40am
Sir you have forgotten to flourishing economy second to only China. The highest performing stock-exchange in the world. You have also forgot to mention the hijackers of the time and the state of the economy. Musharraf did what he had to t save Pakistan.
Rahim Nasar
Apr 09, 2013 12:40pm
Rahim Nasar