Pakistan SC to hear plea against Musharraf’s army role

President to quit post of army chief: Bhutto

Islamabad, August 29:

Pakistan’s Supreme Court kept up pressure on President Gen Pervez Musharraf today by agreeing to consider a complaint from an Islamist leader challenging his rule.

Musharraf’s stated intention to obtain a new five-year term from lawmakers in

September or October while continuing as army chief faces a string of legal challenges as well as opposition calls for a return to civilian rule.

Today, the court agreed to consider a petition from Qazi Hussain Ahmad, leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, challenging the legality of Musharraf’s dual roles. Ahmad said Musharraf’s rule since he seized power in a 1999 coup was “unconstitutional, immoral, illegal.” “He has jeopardized everything — the constitution, the laws — and therefore it is time for the Supreme Court to set the house right,” Ahmad told reporters. It was unclear when the court would schedule a hearing on the petition or rule on other similar complaints filed in recent days.

Meanwhile, a report said Musharraf and former rival Benazir Bhutto have reached an agreement regarding Musharraf’s military role, a key step toward a power-sharing agreement, a senior official said today. “Both sides have agreed on the issue of uniform,” Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, a close Musharraf ally, said. Bhutto was quoted in a British newspaper making a similar comment, though neither she nor Ahmed elaborated.

Bhutto was quoted in today’s Daily Telegraph as saying that the “uniform issue is resolved.” Bhutto said in the interview that Musharraf has agreed to resign from his position as army chief in a power-sharing deal.