Pakistan's ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif today criticised the Supreme Court's verdict to allow General Pervez Musharraf to file nomination papers to contest the general elections on July 25, saying the former military dictator was being given preferential treatment.
A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Saqib Nisar, yesterday ruled that the 74-year-old Musharraf, disqualified for life, can conditionally file his nomination papers to contest the polls.
The bench asked retired General Musharraf to appear before the court on June 13 as it resumed the hearing of his review petition against his disqualification for life by the Peshawar High Court in 2013.
Speaking to reporters outside the accountability court, Sharif said how can Musharraf be allowed to file the nomination when he was accused of high treason and wanted in several criminal cases.
He said that on the hand Musharraf was being given preferential treatment while on the other hand he himself was not allowed to go to London to see his ailing wife.
"He is named and accused in several cases but he is promised on-arrival leniency. I, on the other hand, cannot even obtain five-day permission to visit my wife," Sharif said.
"On one hand, he has been booked for treason. On the other, he has been granted conditional permission to contest elections. Under what law has he been allowed to contest elections? I want to see such laws too," he said.
Sharif questioned how an individual could be above the Constitution and being honoured while facing high treason under Article 6 of the Constitution.
Sharif and his family are facing investigations since July, when the Supreme Court disqualified the three-time prime minister from office as well as from heading the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party over undisclosed assets.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had argued that the trial was at a concluding stage hence Sharif's family should not be allowed to leave the country.
He is facing a high-profile treason case and has been declared absconder due to his persistent failure to appear before the special trial court set up to try him in the case.
The former president was indicted in March 2014 on treason charges for imposing emergency in the country which led to the confinement of a number of superior court judges in their houses and sacking of over 100 judges.
A conviction for high-profile treason carries the death penalty or life imprisonment.
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