Islamabad: Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Saturday said that he would “step down” if he is convicted of contempt charges.
Talking to a TV channel Al Jazeera on Saturday, Gilani, however, said, “I don’t think that it [the indictment] will happen.”
Gilani will appear before the Supreme Court on Monday to face contempt charges that could decide his fate and plunge the country into a fresh political turmoil over his refusal to reopen graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.
“If I am convicted with contempt charges against me, then there is no need for me to even be a member of the Parliament,” said Gilani.
He further called the charges and cases levelled against him as “politically-motivated”.
“I spent five years in prison due to the cases filed against me; such cases are just politically motivated.”
Defending his position, Gilani said, “The President enjoys immunity not only in Pakistan, but worldwide.”
Dealing a major blow to Gilani, 59, Pakistan's apex court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry had on Friday rejected his appeal against framing of contempt charges over his failure to act on its repeated orders to revive cases of alleged money laundering against Zardari in Switzerland.
Insiders in the ruling Pakistan People's Party today said the Premier is expected to stick to this position when he appears in court again tomorrow. If Gilani is convicted, he could be imprisoned for six months and face possible removal from office after being disqualified from holding public office for five years.
First Published: Sunday, February 12, 2012, 16:54