An Update on the Recent Developments: Rejection of Pervez Musharraf’s Nomination Papers

Reasons and Quick Responses

 What has happened?

President Pervez Musharraf’s nomination papers were dismissed from: Karachi (NA-250), Kasur (NA-139) and Islamabad (NA-48).

President Musharraf will be submitting his appeal to get these unjustified rejections reversed.

The reasons offered for the Rejection of Nomination Papers:

A) NA-139 Kasur

  • A lawyer, Javid Kasuri raised these objections: President Musharraf had violated Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution, which specify that candidates should have a “good character” and be “sagacious, righteous and non-profligate”.
  • The Election Commission gave other reasons: namely, the court cases against Pervez Musharraf (Bugti, Benazir, Lal Masjid, 1999 takeover, 2007 Emergency).
  • The Returning Officer rejected Musharraf’s nomination papers on the ground that the signature did not match the one on his national identity card.
  • An unidentified official also said that Pervez Musharraf had not declared all of his assets.

B) NA-250 Karachi

  • Former City Nazim Naimatullah Khan raised these objections: Pervez Musharraf abrogated the constitution twice, imposed emergency in the country, placed judges under house arrest in 2007.
  • The Returning Officer rejected Musharraf’s papers for the steps he had taken against members of the judiciary

C) NA-48 Islamabad

These objections were submitted by a lawyers’ body and other:

  • The papers were rejected on the ground that Pervez Musharraf had not paid taxes for several years.
  • The former president ousted a democratically elected government in 1999 and also deposed judges of the Supreme Court.
  • The Returning Officer rejected the papers for suspending and detaining the judges of the superior judiciary.
  • According to PML-N’s Ahsan Iqbal, Pervez Musharraf violated the constitution of Pakistan several times.

Quick Refutation

1. Musharraf left the income tax box empty/did not pay taxes

Response:

 

  • When Musharraf was the President and Army Chief, his salary was taxed. After stepping down, he did not receive any taxable income in Pakistan
  • Musharraf has no business in Pakistan which was/is generating income
  • Musharraf was out of Pakistan for 4 years
  • Any Pakistani outside of Pakistan for more than 180 days is not required to pay any tax in Pakistan
  • For 4 years Pervez Musharraf has been making money through lectures abroad. There is no Pakistani income tax applicable upon this income. All taxes were paid abroad.

2. Property Tax and alleged Undeclared Assets

 

  • Musharraf has two properties in Pakistan. The one in Chak Shahzad was completed recently and belongs to his wife, Sehba Musharraf. As for the other property, property tax has been paid on it.
  • As for the properties abroad (Dubai, London), no Pakistani property tax is applicable upon them.
  • Which assets had Pervez Musharraf not allegedly declared? Proof and evidence?

3. President Musharraf violated Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution, which specify that candidates should have a “good character” and be “sagacious, righteous and non-profligate.”

Response:

  • How? What arguments and reasons have been submitted to justify this? None
  • What reason(s) is there to think that Musharraf does not have a good character and is not sagacious, righteous and non-profligate, thereby violating Articles 62 and 63? None that we know of. Why are the reasons – assuming they exist – being kept a secret?

4. Court cases against Pervez Musharraf: Bugti, Benazir, Lal Masjid

Response

  • These are all bogus and politically motivated cases
  • No court has declared Musharraf “guilty” in regard to the above
  • Musharraf is fighting all of these cases in the courts and is confident he will easily win (providing the judges are balanced and sober minded)
  • Musharraf, as President, had absolutely no involvement in any decisions/actions taken at an operational level

5. Alleged Violation of the constitution: 1999 counter coup, 2007 temporary Emergency and detaining the judges

Response:

  • These are allegations and legal matters which will be discussed in the court
  • Every action taken by Musharraf was 100% in accordance with the constitution of Pakistan and enjoyed the blessings of the superior judges:
    • The 1999 counter coup was declared legitimate by the Superior court judges, including Iftikhar Chaudhry
    • The 1999 counter coup was declared legitimate by virtually politicians and endorsed by the Parliament
  • The Pakistani Constitution allows the President to impose Emergency in certain difficult circumstances – Article 232 (1)
    • There was no change in the government in 2007: Prime Minister, Governors, Chief Ministers, all continued to function, all assemblies — Senate, National Assembly, Provincial Assemblies — continued to function.
    • On 15 Feb 2008, a detailed Supreme Court judgement came validating the proclamation of emergency of 3rd Nov 2007.
  • Not a single decision taken by Musharraf was in isolation – the Armed Forces, Prime Minister, Cheif Ministers and all parties concerned were involved in the decision making process
  • Judges were not detained by Musharraf in 2007 or at any other time whilst he was President and Army Chief.

Hypocrisy and Double Standards

  • Imran Khan can contest elections despite having an illegitimate daughter – apparently he possess “good character” and fully meets Articles 62 and 63 despite a daughter out of wedlock
  • In the detailed Asghar Khan case judgment, Nawaz Sharif is said to have received a bribe of Rs 3.5 million to help rig the 1990 general election, to ensure Pakistanis did not bring to power the PPP. Yet Nawaz Sharif meets the criteria of Articles 62 and 63. No returning officer and the EC is troubled the least knowing Sharif took a bribe to rig the elections in 1990
  • Article 6 is not to be imposed upon Nawaz Sharif despite being a leading supporter of the most vile dictator in Pakistan’s history, Zia ul Haq. Nawaz Sharif was Zia’s Finance Minister and throughout actively supported Zia’s dictatorial regime. No returning officer and the EC is troubled the least knowing Sharif was a part of a regime in violation of the constitution of Pakistan.
  • Head of the terrorist organisation, Sipah-e-Sahaba (which has now re-branded itself as “Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat”), Maulana Mohammad Ahmed Ludhianvi, is free to contest elections, along with other members of his terrorist group. No returning officer and the EC deems these terrorists to be in violation of Articles 62 and 63.

And yet everyone is after Pervez Musharraf, so much so that they are reduced to the point of generating laughable excuses.

The one man who brought so much good to Pakistan, who massively improved the economy, strengthened the nuclear capacity and armed forces of Pakistan, who significantly improved the higher education of Pakistan, who improved the infrastructure in Pakistan, under whose term roads, highways, motorways, bridges, Gawadar Port, Lawari Tunnel, Kacchi Canal etc were constructed, a man against whom not a single charge of financial corruption and corruption of any sort exists, a man who is known to be staunchly patriotic, the man who improved Pakistan’s standing and image in the international community, this one honest man is being labelled a “traitor” by utterly dishonest and ugly Pakistani politicians and “returning officers.”

How shameful it is when the unchallengeably guilty, crooked and the corrupt point a finger upon the unchallengeably honest and truthful. We have a situation where known crooks, liars, murderers, violators of the constitution, the corrupt, and the traitors are all united in their hate towards the one man who did so much good for Pakistan and who is known to be honest, humble, truthful and patriotic.

Shameful indeed.

Usman Sheikh

Information Secretary APML-UK

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