- Ousted premier asks CJP, ‘How could SC extend such an offer to someone accused of high treason?’
ISLAMABAD: Erstwhile prime minister Nawaz Sharif said on Friday that a former dictator was enjoying virtual immunity while he stood barred from visiting his ailing wife in London.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar had on Thursday taken up General (r) Musharraf’s plea against his 2013 disqualification for life by the Peshawar High Court. The high court had disqualified Musharraf in view of the July 31, 2009, judgment in which the imposition of emergency on Nov 3, 2007, was declared illegal.
Following his disqualification in April 2013, Musharraf’s nomination papers for Karachi’s NA-250 seat in the polls that year were rejected by the returning officer on the grounds that he had held in abeyance and suspended the Constitution on Nov 3, 2007, detained and removed a number of superior court judges and publicly insulted then chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.
CJP Nisar on Thursday said that if Musharraf submitted his nomination papers, they would be received by the RO, but also cautioned that the fate of the papers would be subject to the final decision in the present case.
Speaking to journalists outside the accountability court conducting corruption proceedings against the Sharif family, Nawaz listed all cases the former president stood accused in.
“Placing judges under house arrest, May 12, violating the Constitution, Akbar Bugti’s. He is named accused in all, yet he is promised on-arrival leniency. I, on the other hand, cannot even obtain five-day permission to visit my wife,” Sharif said.
On one hand, he has been booked for treason. On the other, he has been granted conditional permission to contest elections. “Under what law has he been allowed to contest elections? I want to see such laws too,” a livid Sharif told reporters.
“Where is the law and the Constitution now, where is Article 6 and all the cases [against Musharraf],” Nawaz remarked, questioning the decision to give a guarantee to ‘a person like Musharraf.’
Musharraf was charged with high treason in December 2013 and indicted in the case on March 31, 2014. The trial remained suspended after the special court in November 2014 ordered a reinvestigation into the case to identify any abettors in the imposition of emergency in November 2007.
In addition to the treason trial, Musharraf is facing a number of criminal cases.
The former military dictator left for Dubai in 2016 to “seek medical treatment” and has not returned since.
‘WON’T ALLOW RIGGING:
Later on, while addressing a rally in Mandi Bahauddin, the deposed premier said his party will not allow anyone to rig the forthcoming elections in the country.
“It is beyond the power of a person now to manipulate elections and whoever did so, he would suffer. Nation would punish him,” he said, stressing that if anyone attempted to rig the elections then they would hold him accountable.
He said that his enemies wished for him to go to prison, adding that he vowed that he would not abandon the masses even if he was inside the prison.
“If it happened, even then I would not abandon you,” the PML-N supremo told the participants. “My voice will reach you, wherever I stayed.
“Today, I am coming here after attending 92nd hearing,” he said, referring to the hearing of Avenfield reference in Islamabad earlier today.
“Is there any politician in the country who attended more than five hearings?”
The former premier said that whatever promise he makes, fulfills it, adding, “The one who put an end to load shedding and terrorism is attending hearings.”
Nawaz said that he was not a coward, adding, “They must be thinking what kind of man they have come across.”
He told the participants that their votes were torn apart and thrown away with the ouster.
“You will have to support Nawaz Sharif to the end,” the PML-N supremo told the participants of the rally, asking them to promise that they would get the sanctity of vote restored. He said, “Promise me that the next 70 years would be better than the past seven decades.”