Pak premier given August 8 deadline to write letter

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Pak premier given August 8 deadline to write letter

The Supreme Court has given August 8 deadline to Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf to implement its order by writing a letter to Swiss authorities to reopen the graft cases against President Asif Ali Zradari.

By Afzal Khan

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Published: Wed 25 Jul 2012, 9:55 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 11:36 AM

Apparently exercising considerable restraint, a 5-member bench of the court led by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa also gave the federation the option to file a review petition against its July 12 verdict in which it had ordered Prime Minister Ashraf to indicate by July 25 whether he would write to the Swiss authorities to reopen the cases. The bench rejected Attorney-General Irfan Qadir’s objection asking Justice Khosa to dissociate himself from the case in response to government’s apprehension of bias. “We do not have a personal interest in this case,” Justice Khosa observed.

The attorney general asked for time to make “serious and genuine efforts” to resolve the stand-off with the judiciary.

“We trust that it is not impossible to bridge the gap between stated positions of the two institutions,” Justice Khosa said

Qadir said there was immense concern over the court’s directive regarding the prime minister and that state institutions should avoid confrontation for the country’s sake. “A prime minister was sent home for your sake,” the AG said to Justice Khosa.

Addressing the AG, Justice Khosa said: “You had said that the president had been sentenced for six months over a money laundering conviction”.

Upon which, the attorney-general admitted to having said so. Justice Khosa said: “You are only trying to block the case’s proceedings but you can find a solution to the issue if you wish to.”

He said the court was in no haste to pass a judgment that derails democracy.

“Mr Zardari is also our president. We are as concerned for his reputation as anyone else,” Justice Khosa said. He further said: “No such action would be taken which would bring harm to the country … in the case of Yousuf Raza Gilani, the issue of presidential immunity was not discussed”.

“We went until the last limit before deciding against Gilani … we do not want to derail a system, an individual or a position,” Justice Khosa said.

Subsequently, the bench adjourned the case’s hearing to August 8. Speaking to media representatives before the hearing began, Qadir said that a request would be filed in the court for a review of the bench’s July 12 ruling.

Earlier on Tuesday, the federal government filed an application in which it unequivocally stated that it would not write a letter to the Swiss authorities to reopen graft cases against President Zardari.

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