LAHORE - The Supreme Court on Monday ordered Nadra to unblock national identity card and passport of former military dictator Pervez Musharraf so he could return to the country and face the cases.

“Musharraf should not have any excuse for not returning to the country and face cases against him,” observed Chief Justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar.

“The court has already assured him (Musharraf) of protection from the airport to the court,” the top judge further remarked.

The court order came when Nadra Chairman Usman Mobin was seen sitting during the hearing of an unrelated case being heard by a CJP led bench, and called to rostrum to for telling the reason of his presence.

Usman, the head of National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra), said that the previous order of the court could not be implemented as the CNIC and passport of the ex-general have been blocked.

Hearing Musharraf’s plea against his disqualification by Peshawar High Court in 2013, the apex court last week had conditionally permitted him to file nomination papers to contest July 25 general elections and directed him to appear before the court on June 13. The court assured the former military dictator that he would not be arrested on his arrival at the airport and allowed to appear in the court.

The CNIC (computerised national identity card) and passport of Musharraf were blocked on the directive of interior ministry to the Directorate General of Immigration and Passports in compliance with the order of a special court hearing a treason trial against the former president for abrogating the constitution twice.

“Why are you creating hurdles in the way of Musharraf’s return; do unblock his CNIC [and passport]... Let him come if he is a citizen of Pakistan,” the chief justice ordered Nadra chairman.

The top judge also regretted over delay in formation of a special trial court for hearing of the treason case against Musharraf.

“The government, it seems, wants to benefit someone [through this delay],” the CJP remarked.

The bench directed the federal government to notify the special court within two days so that the treason trial against Musharraf could resume.

A three-judge special court hearing the treason case was dissolved after one of its members - Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Yahya Afridi - recused himself from hearing when Musharraf’s counsel raised objection. The other two members were Lahore High Court Chief Justice Muhammad Yawar Ali and Baluchistan Chief Justice Tahira Safdar.

 

 

Mush to seek more assurances

 

Despite the Supreme Court’s conditional permission to Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf to contest upcoming elections and the order for unblocking his CNIC and passport, the chief of his All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) is reluctant to come back.

Although his party leaders have filed his nomination papers for from three constituencies, APML Secretary General Dr Mohammad Amjad wanted some more assurances on part of the superior judiciary before Musharraf’s return to Pakistan and joining the courts in all pending cases against him.

Dr Amjad said they would be moving the apex court in a day or so to seek direction that Musharraf should not be arrested in any of the pending cases on his landing back in the country and allowing him to freely run the election campaign.

He said the name of Musharraf should not be placed on the ECL on his return and some clear-cut verdict like the one in case of Khwaja Asif should be handed down in their case as well.

Amjad said that final decision on the return of their party chief would be made in the light of the decision on their application.

Informed sources told The Nation that besides getting a green signal from the apex court, Musharraf wanted clearance from some other quarters also for his return, and he would come back only if the things would move in his favour.

Nomination papers for Musharraf have been submitted from NA-1 Chitral, NA-188 Leyyah and NA-247 Karachi constituencies.

 

 

Mush disqualification is ‘right decision’

 

Attorney General for Pakistan Ashtar Ausaf has submitted before the Supreme Court that the disqualification of Pervez Musharraf by the Peshawar High Court was in consonance with the top court’s multiple judgments, reported Syed Sabeehul Hussnain from Islamabad on Monday.

In his reply filed in the court, the AGP said as per the relevant SC judgments the effect of a declaration against an electoral candidate renders him disqualified forever.

He further stated that Musharraf, being an absconder, was fugitive in the eye of law and could not be granted the right of audience in the court of law as a relief.

On June 7, Chief Justice Saqib Nisar while hearing the appeal of the former president against PHC judgment had attached the decision regarding his qualification for contesting elections with his appearance before the court.

The top court had also ruled that Musharraf can conditionally file his nomination papers for the upcoming general election but his nomination papers will be subject to the outcome of his appeal, wherein he has challenged the PHC verdict of a lifetime ban on contesting elections.

The SC bench will take up the matter on June 13 (tomorrow) at top court’s Lahore registry.

The reply submitted by the AGP said that the allegations against Musharraf were manifold and included the placement of judges under house arrest, suppression of the media and demolition of the judicial set-up.

The former military ruler, against whom the high treason case is pending adjudication for abrogating the Constitution, has been abroad on the pretext of medical treatment.

The AGP stated that “a fugitive of the law has no right to an audience. “Even otherwise, it is trite that a fugitive in the eyes of the law has no right to an audience before the courts”.

Thus, a person who does to the jurisdiction and due process of the courts cannot be entitled to relief from the same,” the reply added. The AGP also referred to a number of relevant SC verdicts in his reply.