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Musharraf resigns as chairman of his party, leaders say not possible for him to run affairs from abroad

Earlier this week, the Election Commission rejected Musharraf’s nomination papers after the Supreme Court withdrew its conditional approval for him to file nomination papers for the upcoming general election after he failed to appear before the court.

world Updated: Jun 22, 2018 21:25 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad
Imtiaz Ahmad
Hindustan Times, Islamabad
Pervez Musharraf,All Pakistan Muslim League,Pakistan
Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf founded All Pakistan Muslim League in 2010. (AP/File Photo)

Former dictator Pervez Musharraf on Friday resigned as chairman of his All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) party, days after he failed to return to the country to appear before the Supreme Court in connection with a case related to his lifetime disqualification from electoral politics.

Musharraf, currently in self-exile in Dubai, sent his resignation to the Election Commission. The move allowed APML’s secretary general Muhammad Amjad to take over the top post. Amjad will direct all party affairs and decide the APML’s role in the July 25 general elections.

Local media reported the move came after the Supreme Court withdrew the interim relief it had provided to Musharraf so that he could submit his nomination papers for the general elections and also appear in court in connection with several cases filed against him.

The former military ruler has not visited Pakistan since he left for Dubai in March 2016.

When Musharraf failed to appear before the court despite multiple guarantees and assurances from the chief justice, the Supreme Court ordered the cancellation of its interim order.

Before withdrawing the order, Chief Justice Saqib Nisar asked Musharraf’s counsel, Malik Qamar Afzal, if his client would appear before the judges. Musharraf’s lawyer replied the former president would be unable to appear.

Afzal said he had contacted Musharraf on phone and asked him about his return, but Musharraf had told him that although he wanted to come back, he was unable to because of various reasons. He said Musharraf had cited the Eid holidays and unspecified “present circumstances” as the reasons for his inability to return and urged the court to give him more time.

In response, the chief justice remarked: “Then we withdraw the earlier interim order, allowing him to file nomination papers.”

First Published: Jun 22, 2018 14:32 IST