Musharraf can’t continue as Army Chief: Opposition


Islamabad : Opposition parties in Pakistan have brushed aside the assertion that Pervez Musharraf would continue as the Army chief if not re-elected as the country’s President for another five-year term.

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Pakistan’s Attorney General Malik Mohmmad Qayyum told the Supreme Court yesterday that Musharraf would not shed his military uniform until his successor was appointed by the newly elected President.

“Musharraf’s continuation in the office as Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) is not a matter of his own choice, but it will be determined by the President who will be the next Army chief.

“It is prerogative of the President, who is also the Commander-in-Chief of Armed Forces, to determine who will be the COAS,” the ‘Daily Times’ reported here today, quoting Faratullah Babar, a spokesperson of self-exiled former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).

Deposed Premier Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-N Secretary-General Iqbal Zafar Jhagra also agreed that Musharraf would not be able to continue as the Army chief “if he fails to become the President” for a second term.

According to him, PML-N is, in principle, against the holding of presidential elections from the current assemblies. “Musharraf is threatening the Supreme Court by such statements to get a clean chit for his re-election from courts.” Jhagra also said they had decided to block Musharraf’s re-election by resigning from the assemblies along with All Parties Democratic Movement partners.

Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal leader Liaquat Baloch said that Musharraf was trying to get his candidature stamped by the Supreme Court and once he was cleared and elected as President he would never doff his uniform which he’s not entitled to.