Musharraf to continue as COAS till a final SC verdict : Minister

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Islamabad, Oct 7 (UNI) Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has indicated that he will not doff his uniform until the Supreme Court (SC) pronounce a final verdict on petitions challenging his candidacy for the presidential poll.

Gen Musharraf swept the polls held yesterday with his only and the nearest rival managing only eight votes. However, in compliance with the Supreme Court ruling of Friday, the Election Commission cannot declare the military ruler elected till a final decision on his eligibility to contest the polls.

''I will remove my uniform only after the court's decision even if the hearing continues for six months or a year,'' Senator Mir Mohabat Khan Marri quoted Gen Musharraf as telling parliamentarians at an Iftar-dinner on Friday evening.

The apex court will resume hearing on the petitions on October 17.

Mr Marri said Parliamentary Affairs Minister Sher Afgan Khan Niazi, who also attended the dinner, had ''eagerly validated'' President Musharraf's point of view, Daily Times reported.

He added that Gen Musharraf had told the parliamentarians that the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) would help create an environment of political understanding and that it was prepared in consultation with PML President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and others.

Among other invitees the dinner was attended by a group of Pakistan Muslim League (PML) members led by Ishaq Khan Khakwani who had expressed their reservations over granting general amnesty to politicians and bureaurcrats against whom cases of corruption were pending.

UNI

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