LAHORE: Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Thursday inquired about former president Pervez Musharraf’s intention to appear before the court today.
A four-member bench of the Supreme Court had yesterday directed Musharraf to return to the country by 2:00pm on June 14 (today).
“Find out if Musharraf will appear before court or not,” the chief justice ordered the deputy attorney general, adding that an update regarding the former president’s should be submitted in the court at the earliest.
The apex court was hearing a case filed by Musharraf in 2015 against the rejection of his nomination papers in the 2013 general election.
“The hearing was scheduled for 2:00pm today [but] we can wait if Musharraf will appear [before court],” said Justice Nisar. He observed that the court staff had to leave for Eid-ul-Fitr holidays.
On Wednesday evening, in a turnabout statement made five hours after the initial claim of Musharraf returning to Pakistan anytime during the next 24 hours, All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) Secretary-General Dr Amjad said the former president was unlikely to return to the country on Thursday (today).
Dr Amjad cited “difficulties in purchasing tickets back home” as the reason for low odds of the former military chief returning to the country.
The ex-president’s passport, on the other hand, was still blocked as of reporting time, making his return today unlikely.
Musharraf was trying to get new dates from the courts, Dr Amjad added.
Earlier on Wednesday night, the party’s secretary-general had said the APML leader’s travel preparations were in the final stage. “We are reviewing the flight schedules,” he said.
The Supreme Court on June 7 had ordered the former president to appear before it and assured he would not be arrested upon appearance.
Chief Justice Nisar had remarked that the apex court would pass an order ensuring authorities to not arrest Musharraf before his appearance in court.
“He [Musharraf] should come [to the court] if he is a commando. Like politicians, he should not keep claiming he will return.”
The chief justice had further observed that the scrutiny of Musharraf’s nomination papers for the upcoming General Election 2018 would not be allowed if he failed to return to Pakistan.