Islamabad: Pakistan’s Supreme Court today gave former military ruler Pervez Musharraf a deadline until tomorrow afternoon to present himself in the court in the lifetime disqualification case against him, wondering how can a commando be so afraid to return to his country. Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Saqib Nisar, who is heading a three-judge bench hearing Musharraf’s appeal against his 2013 disqualification by the Peshawar High Court, warned that if the former president does not show up in court by 2 pm tomorrow, a decision would be taken in the case according to law, the Dawn reported.
Last week, the apex court had allowed Musharraf, 74, to file nomination papers to contest the July 25 general elections on the condition that he would appear in person before the court on today in Lahore to attend the hearing in the case. Although Musharraf’s nomination papers for Chitral’s NA-1 seat were submitted earlier this week, the former dictator did not appear in court today despite SC orders that his national identity card (CNIC) and passport were unblocked in order to facilitate his travel.
“The Supreme Court is not bound to Musharraf’s terms,” justice Nisar said today. “We’ve already said that if Musharraf returns, he will provided with security. We are not bound to provide a written guarantee.” “If Pervez Musharraf is a commando, he should show us by returning, instead of continuously parroting that he will return like a politician,” he said. “Why does Musharraf need protection, what is he so afraid of?” he said. “How can a commando be so afraid? Musharraf would say that he has evaded death many times but he was never afraid,” he said. “If Musharraf has Parkinsons how will he show his fist?” he asked. “Musharraf should face the Constitution, the law, the nation and the courts,” he asserted.
Musharraf, the former Pakistan Army chief, began his military service in 1964 as a commando of the Northern Light Infantry. He also participated in the 1971 war as a company commander in a commando battalion. In 2013, Musharraf was declared ineligible to contest elections for life by the Peshawar High Court (PHC) in view of the 2009 judgement in which 2007 emergency was declared illegal.
In his appeal, Musharraf had pleaded before the Supreme Court to set aside the high court order, stating that in it he was condemned unheard without due process of law. Musharraf, who ruled Pakistan from 1999 to 2008, has been declared a fugitive in the Benazir Bhutto murder case and Red Mosque cleric killing case. He has sought adequate security from the government for his return from the UAE.