Thursday Jun 14, 2018
LAHORE: Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar has directed former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf to return to the country by 2pm on Thursday.
"The verdict will be announced in compliance with the law upon Musharraf's failure to follow the orders," the chief justice observed while hearing a case filed by Musharraf in 2015 against the rejection of his nomination papers in the 2013 general elections, at its Lahore Registry.
The apex court noted that it was not bound to comply with any conditions set forth by Musharraf. "Musharraf was assured he would get protection but we are not bound to issue a written assurance to him," observed Chief Justice Nisar.
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.
"What does Musharraf need protection from and what is he so afraid of? How is a [brave] commando so afraid?"
Musharraf's lawyer had informed the court that his client was willing to face the treason charges if he was given the guarantee to be protected.
"My client is ill and a medical board has to examine him," the lawyer had said. To this, the chief justice had responded that the court would order the constitution of a medical board.
"Musharraf can come back to Pakistan in an air ambulance, and we will order the constitution of a medical board," Chief Justice Nisar had remarked.
The lawyer had contended that Musharraf's nomination papers were rejected in light of the Sindh High Court verdict. He had argued that the verdict had been announced in his client's absence and requested the court to restore his client's candidature.
A special court bench was formed on Wednesday headed by Chief Justice Lahore High Court Yawar Ali Khan in the high treason case against former president Musharraf.
The special court bench will also include Justice Nazar Akbar.
President Mamnoon Hussain approved the formation of the two-member special court.
Musharraf has not visited Pakistan since leaving for Dubai in March 2016.