Islamabad: Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was convicted on Thursday for contempt of court by the Supreme Court for refusing to write to the Swiss authorities to reopen a corruption case against President Asif Ali Zardari.
Gilani was sentenced until the rising of the court.
The sentence lasted for barely 30 seconds, a reprieve for the 56-year-old Prime Minister who could have been jailed for six months.
Gilani smiled when the verdict was read out in a packed court house.
After leaving the apex court, PM Gilani told Geo News that the verdict was inappropriate.
Emerging from the heavily-guarded court, Gilani told the media: "We had sought justice. The decision was not appropriate".
Gilani smiled and waved to his supporters as he stepped out of the court premises, reported Geo News.
Attorney General Irfan Qadir described the verdict as "unconstitutional and unlawful".
Federal Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan, meanwhile, said the verdict will hurt the democracy in Pakistan.
“The country cannot afford any adventurism. PPP has always been victimised.”
Gilani appeared in person in the SC for the third time to hear the verdict in the contempt of court case.
Opposition leaders, including PML(N) chief Nawaz Sharif and Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan, called on Gilani to resign following his conviction."In light of the verdict, I think Prime Minister Gilani should resign immediately rather than prolong the issue," Sharif said.
(With PTI inputs)