By Our Ccorrespondents
ISLAMABAD: Justice (Retd) Wajihuddin Ahmed, candidate of the legal fraternity for the upcoming presidential election, Wednesday said that the assemblies elected for five years could not re-elect President Musharraf for a second term.
Addressing a press conference at the Supreme Court building here after his arrival in the capital from Karachi, he said that President General Pervez Musharraf was not eligible to contest for the office of the president. However, if he gets elected on the votes of PML-Q, they would kick-start the next phase of their movement. "We will win this battle with the help of the whole nation," he remarked.
He said that January 26, 2000 was black day in the history of Pakistan as on this day Democracy Day was observed in India while in Pakistan General Musharraf was taking oath from the judges of superior courts under the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO). However, he said that he refused to take oath under the PCO and preferred to quit. Until then, he said, for the first time he came to the building of the Supreme Court and agreed to the request made by the lawyers community to contest for the office of the president. He said that the legal fraternity had nominated him for election to the office of the president just to fill the vacuum so as to create hurdle in the unconstitutional election process of General Musharraf from the present assemblies.
He said although the case of dual office of the president and his candidature for the office of the president for the second term is pending in the court but it does not mean that the petitioners would only confine themselves to courts and wait for its decision.
He said the legal fraternity would file his nomination papers with the Election Commission in a peaceful manner while they have already announced to hold protest on September 29. President Supreme Court Bar Association Munir A Malik, Justice (Retd) Tariq Mahmood, Ali Ahmed Kurd and Hamid Khan advocate were also present on the occasion.
They thanked Wajihuddin Ahmed for accepting their request to contest the presidential election. They said that the person they nominated for contesting the office of the president possessed a sound character and had great respect in the judiciary.
Hamid Khan advocate while speaking on the occasion paid rich tributes to Justice (Retd) Wajihuddin Ahmed for contesting the election against President Musharraf and said it was the second biggest and important event in the country's history. The lawyers community expressed their determination to continue their movement against the military dictatorship and would fight their battle till the achievement of their goal.
Earlier, hundreds of lawyers reached Islamabad airport to welcome Justice (Retd) Wajihuddin Ahmed. SCBA President Munir A Malik, Justice (Retd) Tariq Mehmood, Ali Ahmed Kurd, President Rawalpindi Bar Association Raja Khalid Ismail Abbasi, President High Court Bar Association Sardar Asmatullah Khan and hundreds of other lawyers were present to receive the retired judge, the main challenger of President General Pervez Musharraf in the presidential race.
The airport road remained jam-packed as lawyers turned up in large numbers there. A number of lawyers also remained stuck up in the traffic jam on the road. People who had to pass through the airport road could not reach their homes for Iftar.
The central gate of the airport was closed for lawyers by the officials of Airport Security Force (ASF), who did not want the former to enter the premises. But emotional lawyers were engaged in bickering with the ASF officials to enter the airport and receive their leader. Hundreds of Punjab police officials were also present on the occasion. A number of Punjab police officials were also deployed outside Rawal Lounges.
The lawyers of Rawalpindi Bar Association raised slogans against General Musharraf and in favour of Wajihuddin Ahmed on this occasion. Some among them even resorted to clapping and dancing amid sloganeering at the airport.
As PIA flight PK-308 arrived from Karachi, the lawyers moved forward to give a rousing welcome to Justice (Retd) Wajihuddin Ahmed. To answer the slogans of lawyers, Wajihuddin Ahmed waived his hand to the crowd while making a victory sign. As the plane reached Islamabad airport at 5:40pm, the retired judge have had his Iftar at the airport in the company of hundreds of lawyers of Rawalpindi and Islamabad. Rose petals were profusely showered on him and he was taken to the Supreme Court in a vehicular procession.