Saturday was the day when once again Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, converted into a battleground as the security forces, lawyers and journalists locked themselves in fierce battle for a long time.
President Pervez Musharraf, the close ally of President Bush, has submitted his nomination papers for contesting the presidential election scheduled to be held on Octorber 6.
According to a report, the Election Commission of Pakistan rejected all objections of the opposition and lawyers and approved nomination papers of President Musharraf.
The Election Commission also approved nomination papers of Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Justice (R) Wajihuddin and President Musharraf’s covering candidates Chaudhry Amir Hussain and Muhammadmian Soomro, while the nominations of 38 candidates were rejected.
Chief Election Commissioner Justice (R) Qazi Farooque held scrutiny of the nomination papers of the presidential candidates.
President Musharraf’s proposers and seconders Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, Chief Minister of Balochistan Jam Muhammad Yousuf, Chief Minister of Punjab Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, Chief Minister of Sindh Arbab Ghulam Rahim, Mushahid Hussain and Shaikh Rashid were reached the Election Commission office this morning. The proposer and seconder of Makhdoom Amin Fahim Senator Babar Awan and Raja Pervez Ashraf were also reached the election commission.
Police have arrested lawyers and political workers gathered in front of the Parliament Lodges and Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, clashes and scuffles between the lawyers and police erupted when the police started arrests of the lawyers and political workers. They pelted stones at each other and police also started baton charge and teargas shelling.
Police thrashed senior lawyer Ali Ahmed Kurd and detained him. He was later released from detention.
Muslim League (N) and MMA MNAs Rana Mehmood-ul-Hassan and Hanif Abbasi have also been arrested from outside of the Parliament Lodges.
Police have also arrested women workers of Pakistan Peoples Party protesting in front of the Election Commission Secretariat.
Police have also thrashed newsmen covering scrutiny of the nomination papers of the presidential candidates in front of the Election Commission of Pakistan.
Policemen used baton charge, teargas and pelted stones at newsmen causing injuries to several of them, while some of them were fainted in the police action.
Policemen also cut cables of media cameras and ordered newsmen to leave the area.
According to a comment carried out by an official newspaper, THE Supreme Court's nine-member bench gave its verdict yesterday, with a 6 to 3 majority, that the constitutional petitions on the two offices case were not eligible for hearing, implying, therefore, that President General Pervez Musharraf can indeed contest the upcoming presidential elections (due on the 6th of October) while remaining in uniform. The petition's substantive part itself was not reviewed; the apex court took its time deciding the mere maintainability of the petition.
Several points merit note. First of all, there is widespread resentment against the decision, both from the political opposition and from the general public. There is an overpowering feeling, especially amongst the legal fraternity, that the lawyers' struggle for the independence of the judiciary, apart from the victory of the Chief Justice in the reference against him, is not bearing any fruit.