ISLAMABAD/Karachi - Former military president general (retd) Pervez Musharraf has resigned as chairman of All Pakistan Muslim League (APML).

New party chairman Dr Mohammad Amjad, informed media persons at a press conference in the Karachi Press Club on Friday, that Musharraf had tendered his resignation to the party on June 18 due to the Peshawar High Court’s 2013 verdict which had disqualified him from politics for life.

That verdict was later challenged on Musharraf’s behalf in the Supreme Court, which had issued a directive earlier this month allowing him to file his nomination papers only if he returned and was present in the court hearing on June 13 in Lahore, cautioning that the fate of the papers would be subject to the final decision in the present case.

Although Musharraf’s representatives had submitted his nomination papers for NA-1 Chitral seat, the former military ruler failed to return to Pakistan after which the apex court withdrew its directive allowing nomination papers to be filed. Musharraf explained that he had put off his return after the Supreme Court order forced him to change his mind.

Speaking to journalists via video link, the former president said the apex court order “barring the authorities from arresting me till my appearance before the august court has forced me to rethink my plans about return”.

“There will be no benefit of my return to the country if I am arrested just after my appearance before the court,” he said. “The entire world knows that I am not a coward, but now I will wait for an appropriate time to return,” he claimed.

Dr. Amjad said that subsequently, Musharraf resigned from APML chairmanship, and also sent his resignation to the Election Commission of Pakistan.

After Musharraf stepped down, the party’s Central Executive Committee elected Dr Amjad as their new leader, with Mehreen Malik Adam set to serve as secretary general.

The newly nominated APML chairman said that General Pervez Musharraf would remain the patron-in-chief of the party despite his resignation.

He said Musharraf’s disqualification still existed and he was also facing problems in running the party affairs from abroad, so keeping in view the situation, Musharraf had resigned as party chairman and nominated him as the new chairman of the party, Amjad said.

The new AMPL leader said that during the last general elections, Musharraf submitted his nomination papers from four constituencies and those were rejected by ECP due to the cases registered against him. Similarly, the ECP rejected Musharraf`s nomination for the upcoming general election from NA-1 Chitral. Musharraf was scheduled to return to the country but the uncertain situation forced him to change his plan, he informed.

He further said that it is regrettable that dual system is being practised in which there were some rules for Imran Khan`s friends while strict laws were implied to Musharraf. “We respect the judiciary and would move to the Supreme Court about this. The APML leadership would not react as disqualified prime minister Nawaz Sharif did by scolding the judiciary after he was disqualified,” he added.

He said that the party has sent a request to the ECP about the change in APML chairmanship while Musharraf will remain APML supermo despite his resignation. Furthermore, the APML leadership is ready to contest the upcoming general election, he concluded.

 

Our staff reporter/Agencies