LAHORE A five-member bench of the Lahore High Court on Monday issued notice to PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari for May 3 through Federation of Pakistan on three petitions challenging his dual offices as President of Pakistan and PPP Co-chairman simultaneously. The full bench comprised of Justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Justice Ch Iftikhar Hussain, Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Iqbal Hameedur Rehman and Justice Ijazul Ahsan. The bench admitted for regular hearing the identical constitutional petitions filed by AK Dogar of the Pakistan Lawyers Forum, Awami Peoples Partys Chief Engineer Ghulam Jilani and another lawyer Asif Mehmood against Zardaris dual offices. During proceedings on Monday petitioner AK Dogar presented his arguments for about 15 minutes before the bench on the constitutional issue. Dogar submitted that Constitution of Pakistan neither allowed the President to take part in party politics nor was he permitted to be head of any political party, but Asif Zardari was heading PPP as Co-chairman besides being President of Pakistan. On this, Attorney General of Pakistan Anwar Mansoor Khan, who had appeared on notice, said that it was an important constitutional issue and notices should be issued to the respondents after admitting the petitions for regular hearing so that reply could be filed in the court. He said once the notices were issued to the respondents, he as Attorney General of Pakistan, might take required directions from the respondents (President Asif Ali Zardari and Federation of Pakistan) on the constitutional matter. Besides, the Attorney General sought one-month time for submitting reply on behalf of the respondents and accordingly the court admitted the petitions for regular hearing and adjourned further proceedings till May 3. Earlier, petitioner AK Dogar, arguing against holding the office of Co-chairman PPP, said this act of President Zardari was in clear violation of Article 41 (1) of the Constitution. He said that the President being head of the State could not hold an office of a political party. The petitioner submitted that President Zardari was continuously holding the office of PPP Co-chairman along with the office of the President of Pakistan. He said the President was the head of State and not the head of government, and representative of the unity of the republic and could not participate in politics. Referring to 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, the he keep 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. He said the apex court had laid down the principle that the President required to maintain a neutral image. He said that he collected number of documents and Press clippings to prove that the President House was functioning as the Head Office of PPP. Petitioners requested that President Zardari should be directed to surrender the office of co-chairperson of PPP. It is pertinent to mention here that a civil miscellaneous (CM) application in one of the petitions has sought personal appearance of Asif Ali Zardari as PPP Co-chairman before the full bench hearing petitions against his dual offices. This application filed by Engineer Ghulam Jilani into his main petition submitted that President is exempted from personal appearance before court of law, but Asif Ali Zardari as co-chairman of PPP is not exempted so he should appear before the court to answer as to why he is holding constitutional office of political party.