NRO case: Pakistan SC may `accommodate` PM Ashraf

The Pakistan Supreme Court has turned down Law Minister Farooq H Naek`s request to postpone the hearing of the NRO case later than August 27.

Last Updated: Aug 17, 2012, 16:30 PM IST

Islamabad: The Pakistan Supreme Court has made it abundantly clear that Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf would face consequences if he fails to appear before the court on August 27 with a "positive statement" regarding its order in the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) implementation case.

However, the apex court has promised to "accommodate" the Premier if a commitment was given on the day he appears, reports The Express Tribune.

"If the gentleman whom we have issued notice to, and whom we have great respect for due to his office, appears and makes a positive statement, we will certainly accommodate him; and if he fails to do so, then the law will take its course," said Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, who heads the five-member bench. He also said "there will be no problem if he (the Prime Minister) utters two positive words”.

The bench was hearing a petition moved by the federation seeking a review of the court`s July 12 order, through which it had directed Ashraf to write a letter to Swiss authorities asking them to reopen graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.

In a rare move, Law Minister Farooq H Naek himself approached the apex court on Thursday along with Attorney General Irfan Qadir to seek more time in order for the government to devise a plan regarding writing a letter to the Swiss authorities.

Naek told the court that the government does not want to drag the matter or imply delaying tactics, adding that a decision cannot be taken by one man.

"I am very confident that if this case is adjourned till the first week of September, something very positive will come out of it," Naek insisted.

The court, however, turned down Naek`s request to postpone the hearing of the NRO case later than August 27, saying it would only be possible if the Premier made a positive commitment that day.