Pak­istan SC bars Mushar­raf from con­test­ing polls

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - - World - Im­tiaz Ah­mad let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com ▪

IS­LAM­ABAD: For­mer mil­i­tary ruler Pervez Mushar­raf’s hopes of con­test­ing Pak­istan’s up­com­ing gen­eral elec­tions were quashed on Thursday when the Supreme Court with­drew its con­di­tional per­mis­sion given to him to file his nom­i­na­tion papers.

The court had ear­lier granted per­mis­sion to Mushar­raf to file his nom­i­na­tion papers and con­test the July 25 polls, pro­vided the for­mer pres­i­dent ap­peared in lower courts and con­tested cases against him. The Supreme Court heard the case per­tain­ing to Mushar­raf’s re­turn to con­test.

On Wednesday evening, Mushar­raf had re­quested more time through a party of­fi­cial to re­turn to Pak­istan. The court re­fused to en­ter­tain his re­quest af­ter grant­ing a day-long ex­ten­sion to the June 13 dead­line.

Mushar­raf, who faces charges of trea­son, left Pak­istan in March 2016 to seek med­i­cal treat­ment and cur­rently lives in Dubai in self-ex­ile. His coun­sel, Qa­mar Afzal, ap­peared on his be­half in the apex court. “I have spo­ken to Mushar­raf, he asks for more time. He plans to come to Pak­istan but due to the Eid hol­i­days and ill­ness, he can’t travel im­me­di­ately,” Afzal said.

“Al­right, we’ll ad­journ the court hear­ing till in­def­i­nite time pe­riod, (we) will hold it on your wish,” Chief Jus­tice Saqib Nisar said.

Ear­lier, APML sec­re­tary gen­eral Mo­ham­mad Am­jad Chaudhry con­firmed Mushar­raf

would not be ap­pear­ing be­fore the apex court on Thursday. The court had set a dead­line of 2pm for Mushar­raf to ap­pear be­fore the bench hear­ing a pe­ti­tion chal­leng­ing a life­time bar on the for­mer dic­ta­tor con­test­ing polls.

Chaudhry also said Mushar­raf’s le­gal team will ap­ply for an ex­ten­sion. “We will re­quest them to set a date af­ter Eid-ul-Fitr. If they agree, Mushar­raf will re­turn,” he told the me­dia.

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