ISLAMABAD: The legal fraternity has expressed its support for granting of immunity to holders of all public offices prior to 1999, as demanded by former Prime Minister and PPP leader Ms. Benazir Bhutto. Mohammad Ikram Chaudhry Advocate said: “The law should be equal for all, be they politicians, Generals or members of the bureaucracy. The constitution that existed prior to October 12, 1999 should be restored in its original shape.” “All political leaders, including Nawaz Sharif, should be allowed to openly take part in the upcoming general elections,” opined Mohammad Nawaz Kharl, President Capital Lawyers’ Forum.
Abdul Haq Malik Advoctae, former Member Supreme Court Executive Committee, observed: “After its induction, the present government awarded punishments to a number of public office-holders under PCO. If these punishments were not in line with the law, they ought to be abrogated.” President Peshawar High Cour Bar, Abbottabad Bench, Tehmas Khan Jadoon was of view that only those people should be given immunity, who were politically victimized. Javed Qureshi, General-Secretary Peshawar High Cour Bar, Abbottabad Bench fully favoured immunity to politicians who held public offices prior to 1999.
The lawyers also said that reelection of the President in uniform was not in consonance with legal norms. However, they did not elaborate as to how a provision could be opposed which he already been granted in the constitution in the shape of 17th amendment. The lawyers also endorsed the viewpoint of former President Rafiq Tarar that clemency granted by him as President could not be withdrawn. Rafiq Tarar said the other day that the clemency granted to Nawaz Sharif by him could not be scrapped.
However, President Pervez Musharraf said on Wednesday that the former Prime Minister had made a pledge with a foreign dignitary and he should honour that pledge.Shahbaz Sharif announced at a press conference on Wednesday that Sharif brothers were determined to return to the country before September 15.-SANA