LAHORE: The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered former president Pervez Musharraf to return to Pakistan by 2pm June 14.
The apex court on June 7 had ordered the former president to appear before the court and assured he would not be arrested upon appearance. Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar had said the apex court would pass an order ensuring authorities to not arrest Musharraf before his appearance in court.
The chief justice was hearing a case filed by Musharraf in 2015 against the rejection of his nomination papers in the 2013 general elections.
While hearing the case today at the Supreme Court’s Lahore Registry, the chief justice said the former president should 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,” he said.
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,” said Chief Justice Nisar.
“He [Musharraf] should come [to the court] if he is a commando,” remarked the chief justice. “Like politicians, he should not keep claiming he will return.”
Chief Justice Nisar further remarked 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?” remarked the chief justice.
“How is a [brave] commando so afraid?”
Musharraf’s lawyer 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 said. To this, the chief justice 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,” remarked Chief Justice Nisar.
The lawyer further said that Musharraf’s nomination papers were rejected in light of the Sindh High Court verdict. He argued that the verdict had been announced in his client’s absence and requested the court to restore his client’s candidature.
Musharraf has not visited Pakistan since leaving for Dubai in March 2016.