“Even if the SC’s verdict does not come in Musharraf’s favor, he will still return to the country and lead the party’s election campaign”
Jun 7, 2018 (DESPARDES/PKONWEB) — Former President Pervez Musharraf is looking forward to making a comeback after Eid-ul-Fitr regardless of whether he contests or is allowed to contest in the July 25 elections.
During a press conference prior to an Iftar dinner in capital Islamabad, the secretary general of Musharraf-led All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) Dr Mohammad Amjad announced that the former president has decided to return to Pakistan after Eid.
However, the final date of his return will be announced after Supreme Court’s (SC) verdict pertaining to the military ruler’s disqualification appeal.
The Peshawar High Court (PHC) had announced lifetime disqualification of the former president prior to 2013 general elections.
Musharraf had filed a plea in 2016 in the Supreme Court against the verdict. The appeal remains in abeyance while the former president remains in self-exile in Dubai.
Amjad also informed the media that Musharrraf will be contesting elections from four constituencies in the upcoming elections subject to a SC verdict on his appeal.
He added that even if the SC’s verdict does not come in Musharraf’s favor, he will still return and lead the party’s election campaign.
Observers say in the next 8 to 10 weeks, the country’s top court would be hearing and handing out verdicts in several significant cases related to but not limited to fundamental rights, as they put it. These include myriad cases of very significant societal and political matters, such as Panamagate related references, Saaf Pani project scandal, Landgrabbing cases against Bahria Town, Safe drinking water crisis in Sindh and Punjab, etc. etc. etc.
Concurrently or subsequently, the general elections would be held on July 25 in which the top court has announced it will keep top view on transparency and fairness being followed. Therefore, chances of a verdict on Musharraf case remains a wild card to deal with.
And where’s the beef in the burger? Here: Relevancy, mobilizing pressure groups and most importantly filling or enabling some filling of the vacuum existing in Karachi’s destabilized political landscape.
The secretary general hinted at that. He said APML will be participating in the general elections through alliance with other parties and seat adjustments, while adding that the party’s final candidates’ names will be announced in a few days.
Notwithstanding, several anti status quo alliances emerging in Sindh and Punjab look at Musharraf as crowd-catcher, consensus builder and anti-India and anti-Nawaz narratives — assets the retired general has which these groupings consider they could mine to their favor going forward.
Amjad said earlier that on June 1, APML President Pervez Musharraf had presided party’s core committee session, during which it was established that the party will be contesting elections on July 25 from all over Pakistan.
There’s another group think among the silent majority. With “Justice Spring” launched in Pakistan, Musharraf like Nawaz, Zardari, Altaf et al could remain on the sidelines and be the ‘grand old men’ albeit party-stalwarts while new players take on the bat and the ball.
Meanwhile, a local media outlet has reported that the country’s anti-corruption watchdog NAB has received fresh evidence in its probe against Musharraf on misuse of authority and illegal allotment of multiple expensive plots to his favorite officers worth about Rs1000 billion (approx US$9.5 billion)
The evidence, says the report, includes a list of 10 prime properties worth billions of rupees which Musharraf held in his name and in the names of his family members. The fresh evidence was reportedly submitted by a retired army officer colonel Advocate Inamur Rahim on Tuesday to the deputy director coordination of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Rawalpindi.
A NAB official confirmed to The News that the Bureau is examining the evidence against the former military ruler in an inquiry into “misuse of authority” by Musharraf. Earlier, NAB’s deputy director coordination Nasir Raza had sought documentary proof from Col Inam in an inquiry against the former dictator under NAB Ordinance 1999. However, NAB has yet to issue summon to the former president in the case.
According to sources, the former president and army chief has no qualms in having a day in court.