Musharraf to assure SC of giving up uniform

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Islamabad, Sep 18: Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf would quit the post of Army Chief immediately after his re-election, and take oath as a civilian President.

This would be part of the undertaking being given on behalf of Musharraf to the Supreme Court of Pakistan, which is hearing petitions challenging the criteria of dual offices of President and Chief of the Army Staff being held by him.

This strategy was drawn up at a high-level "progressive review" meeting held at the Presidency, sources said.

Musharraf"s chief counsel in the Supreme Court, Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada, Attorney-General Justice (retired) Malik Muhammad Qayyum, and some senior advisers to the President attended the meeting.

Highly placed sources said after the meeting that the participants expressed reservations over the way rules for the election of the President were being framed by the Election Commission.

"Officials of the EC formulated rules for the election of the President in light of the previous verdicts of the Supreme Court, thereby scrapping an article of the Constitution, which is not correct," Sources quoted Pirzada, as saying during the meeting.

"The rules were required to have been formulated much earlier and there was no need to give a reference to this article of the Constitution. This error has generated unnecessary controversy," Pirzada said.

The meeting decided to maintain calm during the proceedings of the Supreme Court on the issue and ensure its due esteem by the legal team of the government, The News quoted sources, as saying.

Musharraf appreciated the way his team is arguing the cases in the Supreme Court, and said all organs of the government would respect the verdicts of the court, sources claimed.

Meanwhile, Musharraf decided to stay in Islamabad as long as the verdict of the Supreme Court is not pronounced in the petitions filed against his holding dual offices by the opposition.

The verdict in these pleas is expected to come by the weekend.


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