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Pak SC conditionally allows Musharraf to contest July 25 polls; Nawaz Sharif stunned

By Shubham

Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan's three-time prime minister who could not complete a single full term, was surprised by the country's Supreme Court's directive to allow former president Pervez Musharraf to contest the July 25 general elections on the condition that he would appear before the court in Lahore in person on June 13 to attend the court's hearing, the Dawn reported.

Nawaz Sharif

On Thursday, June 7, a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar took up Musharraf's plea against his lifelong disqualification by the Peshawar High Court ahead of the election in 2013.

The high court gave the decision in view of a 2009 verdict under which the imposition of emergency in November 2007 was declared to be illegal. The former army chief's nomination papers for a Karachi seat in that election was scrapped by the election authorities following the court's verdict.

On Thursday, the chief justice of Pakistan said if Musharraf submitted his nomination, it would be received but added that its fate would be determined by the final outcome in the ongoing case.

Sharif, whose second term was cut short by Musharraf's coup in 1999, could not believe the court's decision and told the media on Friday that it was beyond comprehension that the former army chief was permitted to contest the elections, the Dawn report added.

"How could the chief justice extend such an offer to someone accused of high treason?" Sharif said, as per Dawn.

"Is there any law which can empower someone sitting in a high office to give assurance to a military dictator who is facing a high treason case, the Akbar Bugti murder case, the Benazir murder case, judges' detention case and was involved in Lal Masjid operation?" Sharif further asked, according to the report.

He also raked up the issue of his disqualification, saying the same judiciary barred him from holding an office in his own party - the Pakistan Muslim League(Nawaz), ousted him from the post of the prime minister and also stopped him from contesting elections forever.

He also said that the entire country was surprised to see how the judiciary could soften rules for somebody accused of high treason. He said while Musharraf's case was treated with a relaxation, his own plea for three days of exemption from appearing in the court to visit his ailing wife Kulsoom Nawaz was rejected, the Dawn report said.

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