Musharraf resigns as APML chief

Pervez Musharraf.
Pervez Musharraf.

Pakistan’s former military ruler Pervez Musharraf has quit his post as chief of All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) just days after the Supreme Court barred him from contesting in the upcoming general elections.

General secretary of the party, Muhammad Amjad, will now be the party’s chairman.

“Musharraf had tendered his resignation as President of the APML on June 18 due to the Peshawar High Court’s 2013 verdict which had disqualified him from politics for life,” Amjad said.

The 74-year-old’s move comes just days after the Supreme Court withdrew an interim relief given to him to allow him to file his nomination papers after he failed to appear before the court.

Before withdrawing the interim order, Musharraf’s counsel Malik Qamar Afzal was asked if the former President would be able to appear before the court, to which the lawyer replied that Musharraf would not be able to.

Musharraf, who ruled Pakistan from 1999 to 2008, is wanted in Pakistan for treason and he has persistently failed to turn up before a special court set up to try him in the case.

A conviction would mean either death penalty or life imprisonment.

Musharraf had reportedly cited Eid and unspecified “present circumstances” as reasons for his inability to return.

“There will be no benefit of my return to the country if I am arrested just after my appearance before the court,” Musharraf said recently, citing his inability to return to Pakistan. “The entire world knows that I am not a coward, but now I will wait for an appropriate time to return,” he told the media.

Musharraf has been spending his time between London and Dubai since leaving Pakistan in March 2016. According to his legal team, Musharraf is still getting medical treatment abroad as he suffers from Parkinson’s disease.