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    SC says Musharraf verdict by Nov. 6 as govt. rules out martial law

    Islamabad (PTI): Pakistan's Supreme Court on Friday said it is likely to give its verdict on petitions challenging President Pervez Musharraf's re-election in uniform by November 6 even as an application was filed asking the apex court to direct the military ruler not to take any unconstitutional step.

    Attorney General Malik Qayyum, who is appearing on behalf of Musharraf, assured the court that there was no move to impose martial law in the country.

    Though the 11-member bench had yesterday indicated that it was unlikely to decide the matter before November 14 as one of the judges would be away to attend his daughter's marriage, it said today that it would sit even on Saturday and Sunday, if necessary, so that it could give a ruling quickly in view of the importance of the case.

    After a brief recess, the bench decided that the hearing would resume on Monday. Qayyum told reporters that the government's counsel would wind up their arguments within a day or two and he was hopeful the verdict would be given by Tuesday.

    Musharraf's current tenure ends on November 15, and the delay by the court in deciding his candidature in the October 6 presidential poll had sparked speculation and rumours that martial law or emergency would be imposed.

    Qayyum also said that Musharraf would continue to hold both his posts till the apex court gave its judgement.

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