Amidst speculation that President Asif Ali Zardari's illness could be a ground for his removal from office, a petition has been filed in a Pakistani court to restrain him from holding his position as his mental health was "not up to the mark."
Petitioner Muhammad Asim, who approached the Lahore High Court yesterday, sought the interpretation of Article 47 of the Constitution, which provides for the removal of a President on the ground of "physical or mental incapacity."
He claimed it was a matter of record and widely circulated in the media that 56-year-old Zardari's mental health was "not up to the mark" and, therefore, he was not fit to hold office.
"The federation has been violating orders of superior courts before and after the memo scandal and it is being represented as a spokesman for the (ruling) Pakistan People's Party. The incumbent government is not being run within the parameters of the Constitution," Asim said.
He said that in view of his oath, the President should perform his duties honestly in accordance with Constitution and law and always in the interest of sovereignty, integrity, solidarity, well-being and prosperity of Pakistan.
He claimed the President had violated his oath and disregarded the Constitution, and should be restrained from holding office.
Zardari's abrupt departure for Dubai on December 6 to seek treatment for a heart condition triggered speculation that he might be facing pressure from the powerful military to resign over a secret memo sent to the US seeking its help to prevent a feared coup following al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden's killing in Abbottabad in May.