Pakistan politics

Pakistan Supreme Court bars Pervez Musharraf from filing poll nomination papers

The court’s decision came after the former president failed to appear in person for a hearing.

The Pakistan Supreme Court on Thursday withdrew its directive allowing former President Pervez Musharraf to conditionally file his nomination papers after he failed to appear for a hearing, reported Dawn.

Last week, the Supreme Court allowed Musharraf to conditionally file his nomination papers for the general elections on July 25. It was hearing Musharraf’s review petition against the Peshawar High Court’s 2013 decision disqualifying him from contesting elections for life.

After failing to appear before the court on Wednesday, Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar gave Musharraf time till 2 pm (2.30 pm India local time) on Thursday to appear in person.

Musharraf’s lawyer Qamar Afzal, however, told the court that the former president plans on returning but needs more time to appear before the court owing to the “current situation [in the country]” and Eid holidays.

The court then adjourned the case for an unspecified period of time. It asked Afzal to let the bench know when he wants the case to be heard next.

All Pakistan Muslim League Secretary-General Mohammad Amjad Chaudhry told The Express Tribune that Musharraf’s legal team will be applying for an extension. “We will request them to set a date after Eidul Fitr,” he said. “If they agree, Musharraf will return.”

Earlier, in the day, the party had tweeted that Musharraf would arrive in Pakistan on Thursday and “preparations [for his return] were in the last stages.”

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.

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