Announcing the verdict on Thursday, the Lahore High Court (LHC) expressed the hope that the president would soon relinquish his political office. The government lawyers had boycotted the court proceedings and did not advance arguments.
The four-member bench of the LHC, in its verdict, declared that the president’s office was constitutional and impartial and the Supreme Court had also declared the president’s office as non-political.
Advocate AK Dogar had filed the petition against two offices of the president on behalf of the Lawyers Forum. The court had appointed SM Zafar, Abid Hassan Manto and Abdul Hafeez Pirzada as amici curiae (friends of the court), but Pirzada did not give any argument in the case.
The court had reserved the judgement on March 10 after eight months of proceedings.
In the 35-pages judgement, it is declared that the Presidency should not be a centre of political activities and that the president’s office is completely impartial. The president belongs to the whole country and not of a single party. The court expressed the hope that the president would implement the decision.
Meanwhile, the president was informed about the LHC verdict in Moscow. On the other hand, the presidential spokesman has refused to comment on the court verdict.
Presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar said that he did not want to comment on the decision, adding that President Asif Ali Zardari has been informed about the Lahore High Court (LHC) decision in Moscow.
Talking to media by telephone, Babar said that the president had been informed about the decision. According to sources, the government would express its stance after consultations with legal experts.
Commenting on the verdict, renowned lawyer Khalid Ranjha said that the president could suspend the court verdict while Supreme Court Bar Association chairperson Asma Jehangir said that court verdicts were hard to be implemented.
Talking to the media, AK Dogar said that the president could face action if he failed to relinquish political office.
The government has already started consultations and the verdict is likely to be challenged through senior law experts.