LAHORE Counsel for President Asif Ali Zardari on Monday boycotted Lahore High Court Full Bench proceedings of the petitions, questioning holding of dual offices by Zardari as PPP Co-Chairman and President of Pakistan. The Full Bench summoned Attorney-General of Pakistan for July 7 to assist the court in the matter after boycott of the Zardaris counsel. The petitions in this regard were moved about six months ago on behalf of Pakistan Lawyers Forum through Advocate A K Dogar, Engineer Ghulam Jilani and Advocate Asif Mahmood Khan. On Monday, the counsel boycotted the proceedings when the bench dismissed a plea of Zardaris counsel Talib Rizvi filed on June 19, questioning the maintainability of the petitions in question. Talib Rizvi Advocate was flanked by Federations other counsel Ramzan Chaudhry Advocate, S M Masood and Abid Saqi Advocate. At the very start of the proceedings on Monday, Zardaris team of lawyers insisted that the Bench should first decide their plea, questioning maintainability of the petitions. Talib argued that the bench had not yet decided whether or not these petitions against Presidents dual offices were maintainable, asserting that without deciding the question of maintainability proceedings on these petitions could not be held. The bench wrote in its order:Since the Counsel for respondents left the court in angry mood, therefore, fresh notice is issued to the Attorney General of Pakistan to make arrangements for his representation before the court on behalf of Federal Government on July 7 ,otherwise, the matter will be decided on its own merits. Presidents Counsel Talib Rizvi requested that the applications filed by him be heard first before opening arguments by the petitioner. The judge told Talib that arguments in the main petition are about to be concluded by the petitioner counsel. The bench told Talib that his application is pending and it will be considered but he should allow the proceedings to go on and he should not worry as he will be given sufficient time to argue his case. The bench made it clear that the objections raised by him will be taken note of at the time of deciding the matter finally. On this Talib announced and stated that if his submissions are not heard first then he has instruction not to plead the case of respondents both (Federation and Zardari). He pleaded for withdrawing his power of attorney on behalf of respondents and left the court room. The bench observed it was not clear whom Talib Rizvi was representing whether Federation or Zardari. His demand for recalling the order dated 29/3/2010 through the writ petitions were admitted for hearing was also strange and odd. The bench said the petitions were admitted for regular hearing when the then Attorney General of Pakistan had asked the court to send notices to respondents and begin proceedings. The bench held that though the application of Talib Rizvi has been dismissed, the objections raised in it would be considered at the time of decision of the case. However, the bench headed by Justice Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhry dismissed this plea, observing that the application against maintainability of the petitions against dual offices had no law point. This irked Zardaris counsel and they left the court room, saying that they would not pursue the proceedings any more because the bench was not hearing their version in the matter. Later, the bench continued its proceedings and heard the arguments of AK Dogar Advocate who said the Constitution did not allow President to head a political party. He submitted that at the moment there are 14 political parties in Parliament and how was it possible that President was representing just one political party, (PPP) in the Presidency. Dogar requested the court to direct Zardari to surrender the office of Co-Chairman of PPP. The counsel submitted that President Zardari was holding the office of the Co-Chairman of the PPP in violation of Article 41 (1) of the Constitution. According to him, the President is the Head of the State and not the head of the government. He is the representative of the unity of the republic and could not participate in politics. Citing a Supreme Court judgment, Dogar said in the case of Muhammad Nawaz Sharif vs President of Pakistan (1993) it was held:Now, the President as the symbol of the unity of the Federation is entitled to the highest respect and esteem by all the functionaries of the State. But it is equally true that this respect and esteem will be forthcoming if he conducts himself with utmost impartiality and neutrality, that he keeps himself entirely aloof from party politics and does not give the impression to any one that he is siding with one faction or working against the other.