Musharraf’s election participation in dilemma

ISLAMABAD: Former army chief General Pervez Musharraf could be disqualified under Articles 62 and 63 on the basis that he twice dissolved the 1973 Constitution.

Articles 62 and 63 were introduced in the Constitution during Ziaul Haq’s regime, which list out required criteria for qualification, disqualification, and membership to Parliament, respectively. Factors such as age and citizenship are assessed, as are more subjective points, such as whether a candidate is ameen (righteous) enough or not.

Apart from this another complication is that Musharraf has not yet submitted his nomination papers before the Election Commission of Pakistan, prompting some legal experts to claim that he may be stopped from participating in the coming general elections.

According to the Supreme Court Bar Association President Asrarul Haq Mian it is a fact that Musharraf violated the Constitution and the ECP can certainly raise objections over this and the nomination papers issue as well.

Haq also said that the ECP needs to look no farther than the SC’s Sindh High Court Bar judgment of July 31, 2009, which held Musharraf responsible for violating the Constitution.

However, he added that initiating a case of high treason against Musharraf did not fall within the domain of the SC, and was in fact the responsibility of political forces.

“It is not possible for the Supreme Court to take suo motu notice when the relevant stakeholders are silent,” he said.