Pak govt to accept SC verdict on Musharraf's re-election

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Islamabad, Oct 31 (UNI) Pakistan's Attorney General Malik Muhammad Qayyum today assured the Supreme Court that the government will accept the verdict against President Pervez Musharraf's re-election and candidature.

He said this as the 11-member bench assembled to hear legal challenges against the military ruler, filed by his rival--retired judge Wajihuddin Ahmad and vice chairman of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in the October 6 presidential election.

The petitions prayed to the court to declare the election ''null and void'', which Gen Musharraf won with an overwhelming majority amid opposition's boycott, saying that being a government servant, holding office of the army chief, he cannot be a candidate for a public office.

Gen Qayyum said that the government is all for the constitution and for law and will accept the verdict of the court, adding however, that no question of public importance has been raised in the petition filed by Wajihiuddin and as no fundamental right of the petitioner has been infringed.

''The petition is non maintainable and Wajihuddin should approach the High Court that is a proper forum for this purpose,'' he added.

He said despite being the Army Chief, it is the President who has given unprecedented freedom that was never enjoyed by the people.

Reacting to it, Justice Raja Muhammad Fayyaz observed that this freedom has not been given by a person but has been guaranteed in the constitution itself.

Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday observed that it is a case of national importance and not of a high office which is also a matter of grave concern for the whole nation.

He said if it is first heard by the High Court then it will take more time and increase the concerns of the people.

Presiding Judge Justice Javed Iqbal observed that the points which have been raised in this petition were never raised earlier in any petition, therefore, it seems to be of vital importance to hear the case.

He said if there were no free and fair election, the Supreme Court has the jurisdiction to intervene directly to resolve the issues.

Gen Musharraf has already announced that he would doff uniform before taking oath as the president for the second term.

Early this month, the Supreme Court had allowed holding of presidential elections but declared that results would not be notified till decision on the two petitions.

President Musharraf, who assumed power in a bloodless military coup in 1999, last month named vice chief of army General Ashfaq Parvez Kiyani as his successor.

UNI

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