The Lahore High Court on Thursday reserved judgment in identical petitions challenging the holding of two important offices by President Asif Ali Zardari.
Earlier, Advocate AK Dogar concluded his arguments seeking disqualification of the president.
Dogar stated that Zardari’s reputation as ‘Mr 10 per cent’ made him ineligible to hold the office of president under Article 62 and 63 of the Constitution.
He also submitted that Zardari could not remain impartial as the office of the president required as long as he was holding the office of PPP’s co-chairman. He had said that at several occasions, Zardari had served only his party’s interests. This, he said, fell short of the role of president envisaged in the constitution.
Abid Hasan Manto, the amicus curie (friend of court), disagreed with Dogar on whether or not the constitution restricted president from holding dual offices.
He said the constitution put no restrictions on holding of two offices as long as the president remained nonpartisan as the head of the state.
The four-member LHC bench, headed by Chief Justice Ijaz Ahmed Chaudary, has been holding ex-parte proceedings in the case for over eight months, following a boycott of the hearings by Pakistan Peoples Party lawyers and president’s counsel. Other petitioners in the case include Engr Ghulam Jillani and Advocate Asif Mehmood Khan.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 11th, 2011.
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