Pakistan's former military ruler Pervez Musharraf addresses supporters outside the airport upon his arrival in Karachi on March 24, 2013. - Photo by AFP
Pakistan’s former military ruler Pervez Musharraf addresses supporters outside the airport upon his arrival in Karachi on March 24, 2013. – Photo by AFP

ISLAMABAD: In another blow to former President Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf bid for election, the Supreme Court on Friday accepted an application filed against the former military strongman, accusing him of committing treason under Article 6 of the Constitution.

A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, has been constituted to hear the case on Monday, April 8.

The application was filed by Chaudhry Taufiq Asif, the president of the Lahore High Court’s Rawalpindi bench bar association.

Asif said he had asked the court to try Musharraf for treason for imposing emergency rule in 2007, a move that ultimately paved the way for his downfall.

“I have been informed by the Supreme Court that a three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry is going to hear my petition against General Pervez Musharraf after three days,” Asif said.

The former Army chief returned to Pakistan on March 24 to contest general election after spending more than four years in self-imposed exile.

However, the former president’s electoral future appeared to be growing bleaker as, earlier on Friday, the returning officer in Kasur, an agricultural and industrial town in Punjab province, rejected his nomination papers for the elections.

A local lawyer, Javed Kasuri Advocate, had raised objections over the Musharraf’s candidacy for the NA-139 constituency, arguing that he does not qualify to contest elections under Article 62, 63 of the constitution.

The returning officer, Mohammad Saleem, accepted the objections and rejected the former dictator’s nomination paper.

Aasia Ishaque, information secretary for Musharraf's All Pakistan Muslim League, said the ruling would be challenged.

Musharraf had filed papers to contest the general elections from four seats, including Karachi, Islamabad, Chitral and Kasur.

Meanwhile, a Supreme Court lawyer Barrister Zafarullah, on behalf of the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) leader Ahsan Iqbal, has filed an application before the Election Commission seeking disqualification of Musharraf.

The applicant alleged that Musharraf cannot contest polls due to his involvement in four cases: the Akbar Bugti killing case, the Lal Masjid case, the Benazir Bhutto killing case, and the Missing Persons case.

Praising authorities for pursuing candidates who faked a university education when it was a requirement, senior PML-N official Ahsan Iqbal said: “The irony is that the dictator who faked the constitution is freely roaming in the country”.

“If no action is taken against him, then it would be like taking punitive action against the corruption of lower functionaries and turning a blind eye to the corruption of big shots,” he added.