Pak court reserves verdict on Zardari`s dual post

Asif Ali Zardari acted as chief of ruling PPP as well as Pakistan President.

Last Updated: Mar 11, 2011, 16:25 PM IST

Lahore: A Pakistani court has reserved its verdict on several pleas challenging the holding of dual post by Asif Ali Zardari as the chief of the ruling PPP and the country`s President after the counsel for petitioners concluded his arguments.

Different benches of the Lahore High Court have been hearing the petitions since 2009.

Initially, the government`s legal panel comprising Talib H Rizvi, SM Masood, Saiful Malook and Ramzan Chaudhry had contested the petitions.

However, these lawyers boycotted the proceedings, expressing mistrust and dissatisfaction with the court after it refused to hear the government`s objection petition first.

The bench headed by Chief Justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry then started ex-parte proceedings on the petitions.

However, the bench appointed two senior constitutional experts - Abid Hasan Manto and SM Zafar - as amicus curiae or friends of court.

The petitioners` counsel, AK Dogar, asserted in his concluding arguments yesterday that President Zardari`s act of holding a political office was a clear violation of Article 41(1) of the Constitution.

He insisted that the President, being head of the state, could not hold the office of a political party.

Dogar claimed Zardari had made the presidency a hub of political activities by holding a political office and asked the court to direct the President to surrender the office of PPP co-chairperson.

The bench, after hearing arguments by Dogar, reserved its judgement.

The petitions were filed by the Pakistan Lawyers Forum, Ghulam Jillani and lawyer Asif Mehmood Khan.