Supreme Court to decide on Musharraf eligibility case next week 2007-10-23 20:13:02   Print

Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf speaks during a news conference after his victory in the Presidential election in Islamabad Oct. 6, 2007.

Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf speaks during a news conference after his victory in the Presidential election in Islamabad Oct. 6, 2007. (Xinhua/Reuters, File Photo)
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    ISLAMABAD, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- The Supreme Court of Pakistan will announce its verdict on petitions, challenging General Pervez Musharraf's election as president by the end of next week.

    "We are aware of the anxiety of the government, I assure you that the case will be decided in next week", Justice Javed Iqbal said Tuesday while heading an 11-member bench of the Supreme Court.

    Petitions from rival candidates have challenged acceptance of General Musharraf's nomination papers as the presidential candidate by the Election Commission.

    Justice Javed Iqbal made the remarks after Attorney General of Pakistan Malik Muhammad Qayyum, counsel for the petitioner, said that proceeding in the case was slow.

    Qayyum said that everybody was in suspense and this uncertainty must end at the earliest.

    Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan, counsel for presidential candidate Justice (R) Wajihuddin Ahmed, said that he would complete his arguments before Thursday.

    He said that General Pervez Musharraf was not qualified to contest the presidential election on the day he filed his nomination papers, therefore, he could not be declared a lawful candidate for this office.

    He argued that violation of Article 243, 244 and 245 amounts to abrogation of constitution and the person who was guilty of doing this must be punished under Article 6 (high treason) of the constitution.

    Aitzaz said that if General Musharraf contested the election in uniform he would be guilty of subverting the constitution and guilty of high treason.

    He said that armed forces must remain under the control and command of the federal government while the office of the president does not come under the control of the federal government.

    Aitzaz said that the immunity under this amendment to General Pervez Musharraf was time-bound and applicable to his status as president and not to other capacity. Therefore, it does not give any immunity to his candidature, he added.

    He referred to the statement given by the president's lawyer before the court about removing his uniform before taking his oath if he is re-elected.

    Aitzaz said that there was an admission in this statement that for the next term two offices would be incompatible, as the umbrella under this amendment would be completely removed on Nov. 15.

    The court adjourned the hearing till Wednesday.

    On the eve of the presidential election, the Supreme Court allowed the holding of the presidential election as scheduled but barred the Election Commission from announcing official notification of the results till a final disposal of the petitions.

    Two presidential candidates, Justice (retd) Wajihuddin Ahmed, and Pakistan People's Party Parliamentarians (PPPP) chief Makhdoom Amin Fahim had challenged the candidacy of Musharraf to contest the presidential election and had prayed to the court to stay the election.

    According to the official APP news agency, the Pakistani Parliament gave Musharraf another term as president by a clear majority on Oct. 6.

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Editor: Lin Li
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