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)
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
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
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.