Pakistan blocks Musharraf’s ID card, passport

Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. (AFP)
Updated 08 June 2018

Pakistan blocks Musharraf’s ID card, passport

  • Musharraf’s party says its leaders are consulting their legal team to get the CNIC, passport unblocked as early as possible
  • Ousted premier Nawaz Sharif has questioned Supreme Court’s ruling allowing Musharraf to file his nomination papers for general elections

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) has blocked the Computerized National Identity Card (CNIC) of former army chief Pervez Musharraf, impeding his plans to return to the country and contest the general elections on July 25.
With the suspension of his CNIC, the former president’s passport has been automatically blocked and all his bank accounts frozen.
“His (Musharraf’s) CNIC is blocked following the directives of a special court hearing a treason case against him,” a senior NADRA official told Arab News.
In March 2018, the special court directed the federal government to block Musharraf’s CNIC and passport if he failed to appear before the bench in the treason case.
The former army chief was indicted in the treason case in March 2014 after he appeared before the court and denied all charges of imposing emergency in 2007. The same month he traveled to the UAE for medical treatment and is now living in Dubai.
A few months later, the special court declared him a proclaimed offender and ordered the confiscation of his property.
Shahzad Arbi, a spokesperson for Musharraf’s All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) party, also confirmed that the former army chief’s CNIC and passport had been blocked. 
“We are consulting our legal team to get Gen. Musharraf’s passport and CNIC unblocked as early as possible,” he said. “The move is beyond our comprehension, especially at a time when Musharraf wants to return and face all the court cases.” 
He said Musharraf’s legal team would bring the matter to the notice of the Supreme Court on June 13, if it were not resolved earlier.
The Supreme Court on Thursday allowed Musharraf to file his nomination papers to contest the elections on condition that he would appear before the court on June 13 in Lahore to attend the court hearing.
Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar issued these directives while hearing Musharraf’s plea against his lifetime disqualification by the Peshawar High Court in 2013.
“This was a major relief for us and Musharraf was planning to return to Pakistan after Eid Al-Fitr,” Arbi said. “He will announce a final date of his return to Pakistan after his CNIC and passport are unblocked.”
Earlier, Musharraf’s party had announced that he would take part in the general elections from four constituencies in Chitral, Jhang, Gwadar and Karachi, and would lead the election campaign of his party as well.
Ousted Premier Nawaz Sharif has raised questions over the Supreme Court’s ruling allowing Musharraf to file his nomination papers to contest the elections.
“How can the chief justice extend such an offer to someone accused of high treason?” he asked while speaking to reporters on Friday in Islamabad.
“This is something that is beyond my understanding, and the nation is also surprised as to how the court can relax rules for a person accused of high treason.”


Pope Francis hosts historic meeting of Higher Committee of Human Fraternity

Pope greeted the members and heads of the secretariat of the committee and presented the members with a copy of the Document on Human Fraternity. (File/AFP)
Updated 11 min 41 sec ago

Pope Francis hosts historic meeting of Higher Committee of Human Fraternity

  • The Higher Committee of Human Fraternity consists of religious, educational and cultural leaders from across the world
  • The Committee expressed its gratitude to Pope Francis for his welcome and thanked the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayeb for his encouraging words

DUBAI: The first meeting of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity was recently hosted by Pope Francis at the Vatican, the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church.

The inaugural convening of the Committee brought all members of the newly-established, independent body together. The Higher Committee of Human Fraternity, first announced in August, consists of religious, educational and cultural leaders from across the world who are inspired by the Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together that was signed in Abu Dhabi by Pope Francis and Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, during the pontiff’s visit in February this year.

The meeting focused on establishing the organizational structure and mandate of the new body, as well as endorsing its independence as an advisory committee empowered to progress the goal of peaceful coexistence. The Pope greeted the members and heads of the secretariat of the committee and presented the members with a copy of the Document on Human Fraternity. He then expressed words of gratitude and commended the group as “artisans of fraternity”, encouraging them to be at the origin of new policies “not only of outstretched hands but of open hearts.”

After being received by the Substitute of the Secretariat of State, Edgar Peña Parra, the committee returned to Casa Santa Marta to start its work. The Committee expressed its gratitude to Pope Francis for his welcome and thanked the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayeb for his encouraging words.