Election tribunals: Musharraf’s terrible Tuesday

Published: April 17, 2013

The appellants pointed that Musharraf twice abrogated the constitution and declared Emergency in Pakistan. PHOTO: AFP

SUKKUR / RAWALPINDI / PESHAWAR / LAHORE: 

Former president Pervez Musharraf may never get the chance to find out if his Facebook friends would actually have voted for him.

The All Pakistan Muslim League chief on Tuesday saw an appellate election tribunal put paid to his bid to stand for elections from NA 32 Chitral, the only constituency from which his nomination papers had been accepted. On the same day, an election tribunal of the Lahore High Court (LHC) and another tribunal of the Rawalpindi Division dismissed his appeals against the rejection of his nomination papers from NA-139 Kasur and NA-48 Islamabad respectively. This means that Musharraf will no longer be able to contest elections.

While hearing four identical appeals from different residents of Chitral, the Peshawar High Court tribunal, comprising of Justice Mian Fasih Ul Mulk, Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel and Justice Irshad Qaisar declared Musharraf disqualified on the grounds of using inappropriate methods of submitting nomination papers.

The appellants argued that the nomination papers submitted by Musharraf did not bear his signature, and that he did not give the written authority letter that is required in case someone else was submitting papers on his behalf. They also pointed to his having twice abrogated the constitution and having declared Emergency in Pakistan. In addition to this, they argued that he was involved in the killing of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, Nawab Akbar Bugti and was also responsible for the carnage in Karachi on 12 May 2010.

“It is not necessary to give a written authority when submitting nomination papers,” argued Musharraf’s counsel Muhammad Saad Shibli, adding that Musharraf had verbally given the authority.

The tribunal, while rejecting this argument, ruled against Musharraf, disallowing him from contesting the elections.

But there was more bad news for the former army chief, as an election tribunal of the LHC also dismissed his appeal against the rejection of his papers for NA-139, Kasur.

Musharraf’s counsel, Barrister Salman Safdar argued that the former president had not been convicted by any court, nor had the allegations against him been proven true.

Barrister Safdar however failed to come up with a satisfactory answer when asked by the tribunal to justify the acts taken by the former president on Nov 3, 2007.

The tribunal comprising Justice Khwaja Imtiaz Ahmad and Justice Khalid Mahmood Khan then dismissed the appeal.

This was also the fate of Musharraf’s appeal before the Rawalpindi Division tribunal. His papers for the NA-48 Islamabad constituency had been rejected by the RO on the grounds that he did not meet the criterion under Article 62 and 63 of the constitution.

The tribunal, comprising Justice Asad Rauf Sheikh and Justice Mamoon Rashid Sheikh, upheld the returning officer’s decision, disallowing Musharraf from contesting elections.

Musharraf’s counsel Malik Qamar Afzal argued that he had taken the decision to impose emergency on the advice of the prime minister. “People throughout the country distributed sweets when he imposed martial law. The judiciary also endorsed his action,” he said.

However, the tribunal rejected the appeal saying that Musharraf was the president at the time and was responsible for the steps taken in his tenure.

Among the other high-profile persons whose appeals were rejected on Tuesday was former Sindh food minister Nadir Magsi, who had filed an appeal against the rejection of his papers for PS-40 Shahdadkot.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 17th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (13)

  • Waseem
    Apr 17, 2013 - 4:35AM

    I protest against this biased decision against a leader who is honest and cares about Pakistan and people of Pakistan who love Pakistan.

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  • Ali Zaid
    Apr 17, 2013 - 7:00AM

    Im not surprised at either the disqualification of Musharraf or the approval of Shariffs to contest the upcoming polls. Everyone knows why this is happening. Musharraf should never have come back.

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  • lkhan
    Apr 17, 2013 - 8:47AM

    honest, where did he honestly earn the declared assets of close to 800m Rupees????!!!

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  • Muneer
    Apr 17, 2013 - 8:54AM

    Is Musharraf’s terrible Tuesday, is really so! Consider following:1) Musharraf appeals against  decisions of the election tribunals in Higher courts,Assuming that he is meted out with the same fate of being disqualified from contesting elections.Now Musharraf could politically exploit the issue of victimisation by the courts who have denied him the right to contest elections and work for betterment of Pakistan merely on frivolous allegations.This could be done even now.Such issues are politically very rewarding. 2) After having been forcibly denied his legitimate right and free from personal election issue,he visits every constituency from where candidates of APML are contesting,hold small gatherings,meet people raise the issues of judicial victimisation and past record and ask for votes. 3) Musharraf thus intelligently exploiting the situation politically could gain far more in streets than what seems to have been lost.After all not that terrible a Tuesday.

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  • Sohrab Karboy
    Apr 17, 2013 - 9:31AM

    One does not have to be a supporter of former dicatator, General Musharraf, to disagree with this judicial ruling. I have always thought that military interventions in Pakistan were wrong. But, this ruling seems to me to be over-stepping the judicial authority of the courts. These types of rulings give the impression that ECP is assuming the role of the Guardian Council in neighboring Iran. If former President Musharraf is brought to court and is convicted of a crime the courts have every right to disqualify him on the basis of such conviction. In the absence of such a conviction disqualifying him is wrong, undemocratic, and laying down a wrong precedence. I am also surprised and chagrined at the lack of sensitivity of Pakistanis to quietly accept these types of things and not register their protests, at least in writing.

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  • Karim
    Apr 17, 2013 - 9:37AM

    This is simply Judicial Martial Law!

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  • Mohammad
    Apr 17, 2013 - 9:44AM

    I am starting my protest today till Musharraf is not allowed to contest election. My Protest will be peaceful… I am not going to send remittances to Pakistan, will not wear anything made in Pakistan, will not eat from any Pakistani restaurants, will not use the National Carrier PIA, will bribe on airport instead of paying duty…. and will advice my fellows to do the same.

    I am so angry!

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  • Mohammad
    Apr 17, 2013 - 9:47AM

    Judiciary damaged them by themselves… world now knows that what Musharraf did in 2007 sending this CJ was correct decision.

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  • Mohammad
    Apr 17, 2013 - 11:04AM

    If supreme court also reject Musharraf’s appeal, he should move to International Courts!

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  • Ali
    Apr 17, 2013 - 2:54PM

    Looking at the decision of Jamshed Dasti’s case and then looking at the decision to oust Musharraf even when he was not convicted by court, it looks that Musharraf was 100% right to sack CJ. Judiciary is also corrupt.

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  • Sultan Abbas
    Apr 17, 2013 - 2:59PM

    Musharraf’s decision of sending CJ home in 2007 was right or wrong?? Leave it to you.

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  • Sultan Abbas
    Apr 17, 2013 - 3:00PM

    Musharraf decision of sending CJ home in 2007 was right or wrong?? Leave it to you.

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  • Sultan Abbas
    Apr 17, 2013 - 3:03PM

    Leave it to you to decide whether Musharraf decision of deposing CJ was right or wrong??

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