The weather has begun to get rough for former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf, who returned about a fortnight ago from self-exile. On Friday, he was served a double whammy: first his nomination papers were rejected by the returning officer for the Kasur National Assembly seat and then the Supreme Court admitted a petition to try him for treason under Article 6 of the Constitution for declaring an emergency in 2007.
General Musharraf’s nomination papers were rejected on the basis of a complaint filed by invoking Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution. According to the lawyer who filed the complaint, the former army chief did not meet the criteria specified under this Zia-era provision which prescribes the qualifications for a member of parliament.
However, this does not necessarily mean an end to Gen. Musharraf’s ambitions to enter parliament as he has also filed nominations from three other constituencies: Islamabad, Karachi and Chitral. But, it remains to be seen whether the Kasur returning officer’s decision has an effect on his other applications.
In a related development, a petition was filed before the Election Commission of Pakistan on behalf of Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) leader Ahsan Iqbal seeking Gen. Musharraf’s disqualification because of his involvement in several cases including the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.
Meanwhile, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s nomination paper for one of the two constituencies in Lahore that he is contesting has been cleared despite a charge being brought up against him relating to encroachment. Decision on an objection raised against his nomination for the second seat from Lahore that he plans to contest is pending.