[JURIST] A Supreme Court of Pakistan [official website] justice said at a hearing Monday on the results of the recent presidential election ostensibly re-electing President Pervez Musharraf that the spectre of martial law continues "haunting" the country, despite efforts to move past the issue. Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday said that the court has been unable to forget official threats, although Justice Javed Iqbal insisted last week that such statements would not affect its pending decision [JURIST reports]. Aitzaz Ahsan, a lawyer for a retired judge who contested the presidential poll, argued that the Supreme Court should act decisively to rid the country of the threat with the appropriate ruling.
Pakistani Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sher Afgan Niazi said last week that martial law might be declared if the Court ruled against Musharraf's re-election bid. Earlier this month, Musharraf won an overwhelming victory [JURIST report] in legislative elections for the presidency, according to unofficial results. The Supreme Court had previously ruled that the controversial ballot could proceed in the face of Musharraf's refusal to step down as Army chief, but it barred the Election Commission of Pakistan [official website] from officially declaring a winner until the high court ruled on whether Musharraf was in fact eligible to run under the circumstances. His current term expires November 15. PTI has more.