The Supreme Court has adjourned the hearing of NRO implementation case till August 8.
The Supreme Court extended till August 8 the deadline for Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf to approach Swiss authorities to revive graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari, a case that had cost the Prime Minister’s predecessor his job.
During today’s hearing, Attorney General Irfan Qadir requested that the case be put off till after Eid-ul-Fitr but a five-member bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa rejected his plea and adjourned the matter for two weeks.
Attorney General also objected to Justice Khosa’s presence in the bench, claiming that he was prejudiced.
He asked Justice Khosa to distance himself from the case but the bench rejected this request too.
Justice Khosa said he would immediately quit the bench if he had any prejudice.
The judges will not do anything that can harm the country or derail the democratic system, he said adding that the judges stand for democracy and want it to be strengthened.
“How can you level charges of prejudice against me?” Justice Khosa asked. He further said the judges respected the President as much as anyone else.
But the Attorney General said he was concerned at the apex court’s order of July 12 to the Prime Minister to revive the graft cases and to file a compliance report to the court.
The Attorney General further said the government intends to file a petition seeking the review of July 12 verdict.
Justice Khosa remarked that the federation can file an appeal by August 8.
ISLAMABAD:The Supreme Court on Wednesday gave the new prime minister two weeks to indicate whether he would ask Swiss authorities to reopen corruption cases against the president. The apex court ordered the Attorney General to consult Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and inform the court regarding NRO implementation case on Wednesday. A three-member bench headed by Justice Nasir ul Mulk was hearing the case. The judicial bench has asked the prime minister to submit his reply on the issue of corresponding with the Swiss authorities. During the proceedings, Abdul Basit, the counsel for Adnan Khawaja and Ahmed Riaz Shaikh, informed the court that his clients have been fired and paid the fine. The court enquired, Wasim Sajjad, former AG’s counsel, if National accountability Bureau (NAB) has filed any reference against Malik Qayyum. Sajjad informed the court that former AG is under treatment in London, the details of which were verified from Pakistan’s High Commission. The court’s order said that the previous prime minister was disqualified as he did not comply with the orders, hoping that Raja Pervaiz Ashraf will follow the orders. The hearing was adjourned until July 12. The move indicates that the judiciary is unwilling to end a showdown with the government that could force elections before February 2013, when the administration would become the first in Pakistan to complete a full five-year mandate. The court on June 19 dismissed Yousuf Raza Gilani as prime minister after convicting him of contempt in April for refusing to reopen the multi-million-dollar cases. The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) coalition elected Raja Pervez Ashraf as premier on Friday, after judges issued an arrest warrant for its first suggested replacement. Five days later, Justice Nasir ul Mulk directed the attorney general to find out how the government intended to deal with the Swiss cases and report back on July 12. “The new prime minister was elected last week and we trust that he will honour the direction given by this court,” Mulk said. “In the meantime we direct the attorney general to obtain instructions from the prime minister and inform the court… on the next date of the hearing on July 12,” he said. The allegations against Zardari date back to the 1990s, when he and his late wife, former premier Benazir Bhutto, are suspected of using Swiss bank accounts to launder $12 million allegedly paid in bribes by companies seeking customs inspection contracts. The Swiss shelved the cases in 2008 when Zardari became president. The government insists the president has full immunity. But in 2009 the Supreme Court overturned a political amnesty that had frozen investigations into the president and other politicians, ordering that the cases be reopened. Ashraf faces his own corruption allegations from his tenure as water and power minister, and many believe he will be forced out soon — either by elections or the judiciary.
PM Gilani has said that Supreme Court cannot declare any public representative ineligible.Addressing media in Islamabad, PM Gilani reiterated that only parliament can send him back home and clarified that the verdict of Supreme Court does not deal with the issue of him being ineligible.
Gilani said he hasn’t committed any crime for which he should resign.
Slamming PML-N, he questioned the voyage of Sharif brothers from Adiala to Jeddah, adding PML-N was the first party to sign National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO).
Referring to his 30 second sentence, Gilani said Nawaz Sharif was sentenced for nine years. He said the impatient party is seen in no hurry for the verdict on Asghar Khan case.
Gilani further criticized Nawaz Sharif’s move to sabotage the government on the issue of memo.
PM Gilani said we respect the verdict of Supreme Court but the opposition should have some patience till the full verdict.
Gilani vowed to hold local government polls in Islamabad saying that the provinces didn’t implement the court orders in this regard.