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Pak SC returns govt`s NRO petition with objections

Last Updated: Sunday, March 28, 2010 - 16:30

Islamabad: Pakistan`s Supreme Court has returned with objections a government petition which asked it to set aside its verdict scrapping a controversial graft amnesty that benefited President Asif Ali Zardari and thousands of others.

The office of the Supreme Court`s registrar said the petition was time-barred and no application was filed for its condonation.

Another objection raised by the apex court was that some of the documents filed with the petition were in the Swiss language and the government had not provided a translation.

The registrar`s office further said that the prayers in the review petition were not related to the main case.

Government lawyer Kamal Azfar had recently filed the petition which asked the apex court to set aside its verdict striking down the National Reconciliation Ordinance in the interest of justice.

The petition had argued that the NRO issued by former president Pervez Musharraf enabled leaders of main political parties to return to Pakistan from self-exile and participate in free and fair elections that paved the way for the transition from military dictatorship to democracy.

This process of reconciliation led to the restoration of democracy, the release of detained members of the judiciary and their eventual restoration by the democratic government, it said.

The entire nation had directly benefited from the NRO as a military dictator, Musharraf, had shed his uniform and a better atmosphere of tolerance between the government and opposition parties was ushered in, it said.

On December 16 last year, a 17-member bench of the Supreme Court had struck down the NRO, describing it as unconstitutional and illegal.

It also said the law passed by former military ruler Musharraf was against the national interest as it was meant to give benefits to a class of people.

In addition, the apex court directed the government to contact Swiss authorities to revive cases against president Zardari, which were closed at the request of former Attorney General Malik Qayyum during Musharraf`s regime.

The government had filed a review petition on January 16 but it too was returned by the apex court on technical grounds.


First Published: Sunday, March 28, 2010 - 16:30
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