The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday withdrew its directive allowing former dictator Pervez Musharraf to file nomination papers after he failed to appear for a court hearing today.
Last week, the SC had issued a directive permitting Musharraf to file nomination papers for the July 25 general elections on the condition that he appear in person before the court on June 13 in Lahore to attend a hearing.
The court had said that the former army chief's nomination papers will be received by the returning officer, but would only be considered if Musharraf appeared in person at the SC Lahore registry.
Musharraf had then filed his nomination papers from NA-1 Chitral after the court's directive, but failed to appear in court yesterday.
Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar then gave the former president until 2pm today to appear in person or face action according to the law.
Musharraf's lawyer Qamar Afzal today pleaded that the former president plans on returning but needs more time to appear before the court owing to the "current situation [in the country]" and Eidul Fitr holidays.
Adjourning the case for an unspecified period of time, the court took back its directive allowing Musharraf to file nomination papers and asked his lawyer to let the court know when he wants the case to be heard next.
A four-member bench of the apex court, headed by the chief justice, was hearing Musharraf's appeal against his 2013 disqualification by the Peshawar High Court.
Earlier in the day, the CJP had asked the deputy attorney general to find out if the former dictator was going to appear in court for the 2pm hearing.
"The Supreme Court is not bound to Musharraf's terms," the CJP had remarked in yesterday's hearing, after the former president's counsel had insisted on blanket guarantees for his security. "We've already said that if Musharraf returns, he will be provided with security. We are not bound to also provide a written guarantee in this regard."
"If he doesn't return, the scrutiny of his nomination papers will not be permitted," Justice Nisar had warned.
Musharraf has not returned to Pakistan since leaving for Dubai in March 2016 on the pretext of medical treatment.
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