The Pakistan Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that former President Pervez Musharraf can conditionally file his nomination papers for the general elections on July 25, The Express Tribune reported. The court was hearing Musharraf’s review petition against the Peshawar High Court’s 2013 decision disqualifying him from contesting elections for life.
The former Army chief was indicted in March 2014 on treason charges. A special court declared him a proclaimed absconder in May 2016, two months after he left the country for Dubai, where he has been living since then. Musharraf is also an accused in the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, and was declared an absconder in the case by a special anti-terrorism court in August.
The Supreme Court on Friday told the former president’s lawyer Qamar Afzal that his client could submit nomination papers, but the Election Commission could accept them only if the lower court’s verdict gets overturned. The court also summoned Musharraf on June 13 and assured him that he would not be arrested upon his return from Dubai, Geo News reported.
“We will pass an order ensuring that authorities do not arrest the former president before his appearance in court,” said Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar.
The general secretary of Musharraf’s All Pakistan Muslim League party, Muhammad Amjad, said the former president was expected to return after Eid. “However, the exact date of his return will be announced after the Supreme Court decides on the review petition,” he added.
If allowed to fight elections, the former Army chief would be in the fray from four constituencies, Amjad told reporters.