Decision on Musharraf's candidacy according to law: Pak SC

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Islamabad, Oct 25 (UNI) Pakistan's Supreme Court, currently hearing legal challenges against military ruler Pervez Musharraf's candidacy, today declared that the judgement would be pronounced in accordance with the law.

''We will not deviate from our responsibility and announce the verdict in accordance with the law and the constitution,'' presiding judge Javed Iqbal said during hearing of the petitions.

The court is to announce its ruling next week on the petitions filed by General Musharraf's rival-- retired judge Wajihuddin Ahmad and vice chairman of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan Peoples party (PPP), in the presidential election.

The petitions prayed to the court to declare the election ''null and void'', which Musharraf won with an overwhelming majority on October 6 amid opposition's boycott.

The Supreme Court had early this month allowed holding of elections but ordered to withhold election results till a decision on the two petitions.

The petitioners said that being a government servant, holding office of the army chief, Gen Musharraf cannot be a candidate for a public office.

Mr Iqbal, heading a nine-member bench also, strongly ruled out any civil war in the country after a lawyer AK Dogar said wrong decisions have been the cause of such wars in the past.

Counsel for petitioner, Aitzaz Ahsan said it was time to carry out surgery, adding that the presidential election should have been held as per constitution after formation of the new assemblies following general election.

This was illegal on part of these ''dying'' assemblies to re-elect General Musharraf.

President Musharraf, who assumed power in a bloodless military coup in 1999 and announced to step down as army chief before taking oath for the second term, last month named vice chief of army General Ashfaq Parvez Kiyani as his successor.

UNI

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