Pakistan: Is PPP ready to sacrifice another PM?
Islamabad: The Pakistan government appears to be in no mood to back down in its standoff with the judiciary even after the apex court annulled a new law aimed at protecting the Premier, with the ruling coalition saying it will not compromise on Parliament`s right to legislate.
Leaders of the Pakistan People`s Party-led coalition gathered for a crucial meeting in the presidency last night after the Supreme Court struck down the Contempt of Court Act, which was passed last month to protect Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf from being disqualified for not acting on the court`s order to revive graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.
Following the meeting chaired by Zardari and Ashraf, presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar said the leaders discussed the current situation and expressed their resolve "that the right of Parliament to legislate would be upheld and this right would not be allowed to be compromised no matter what the odds and the cost would be".
"The meeting reiterated unequivocally that the power to legislate under the Constitution belongs to elected representatives alone," Babar said.
In an apparent indication that the government is still in no mood to act on the apex court`s repeated orders to revive the graft cases against Zardari in Switzerland, Babar said, "In the context of the present situation, the meeting decided that there is even greater need to remain united and firm."
"It resolved to remain united and firm and face the emerging challenges with unity, force and conviction."
The apex court has been pressuring the government to reopen the corruption cases since December 2009, when it struck down a graft amnesty that benefited Zardari and over 8,000 others.
The government has refused to act, saying the President enjoys immunity in Pakistan and abroad. The standoff has already resulted in former premier Yousuf Raza Gilani losing his job.
The apex court convicted Gilani of contempt and then disqualified him for five years.
Despite the pressure from the court, new Premier Ashraf has said he too will not approach the Swiss authorities to revive cases of alleged money laundering against Zardari.
The Supreme Court recently set August 08 as the deadline for Ashraf to write to the Swiss authorities to reopen the cases and legal experts have said he faces the possibility of disqualification if he refuses to act.
PML-Q leader Chaudhary Shujaat Hussain, a key leader of the ruling coalition, today said the government is mulling several options following the striking down of the new contempt of court law.
The government could take the matter back to Parliament or file an appeal against the apex court`s order of yesterday, he said.
Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira too said the government could file an appeal or present a new contempt of court bill in Parliament.
"The President called the PPP`s legal team headed by Law Minister Farooq H Naek, which will give its opinion about the government`s future line of action," he told the media.
Sources said the leaders of the ruling coalition had decided that the Premier would inform the Supreme Court on August 08 that the President enjoys immunity under Article 248 of the Constitution and therefore, the graft cases could not be reopened as long as Zardari is in office.
The leaders further decided that the government would sacrifice another premier instead of approaching the Swiss authorities.
They also decided that no caretaker set-up would be formed even if Prime Minister Ashraf is disqualified by the Supreme Court, the sources said.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- UP: Jammu-bound Muri Express derails in Kaushambi
- Delhi's 2015 CBSE Class 12 topper M Gayatri talks to Zee Media
- Watch: Mumbai cops find new secret agents in housewives!
- One year of Modi govt: PM promises to fulfil aspirations
- No respite from heat for next three days: IMD
- DNA: Sikh man in New Zealand removed his turban to help injured kid
- One year of Modi govt: PM addresses mega rally in Mathura
- Hundreds die as heat wave continues in India
- 2G scam: Ex-TRAI chief alleges Manmohan Singh had warned him to cooperate
- Growing medical negligence in Delhi's AIIMS
- DNA: AIIMS doctor removes both kidneys of minor, claims she had only one
- Pranab Mukherjee defends Bofors scam, says it was just a media trial
- Salman Khan attends sister Arpita's wedding reception in Mandi
- Zee Media's mega survey on Modi govt
- Zee Media Exclusive: Vidya Balan chats about 'Hamari Adhuri Kahani'
- Check WBBSE (wbresults.nic.in) Class 12th Results: West Bengal Board (wbscvet.org) Higher Secondary Class XII Vocational Results to be declared today at 4 PM
- Two dead, over 100 injured as Muri Express derails in UP; Prabhu announces Rs 2 lakhs ex-gratia for kin of dead
- PM Narendra Modi's Mathura rally: As it happened
- Public rally on 100 days of AAP govt: As it happened
- One year of NDA govt: PM Modi writes open letter to nation, promises to transform India
- World optimistic about India: PM Narendra Modi on 1 year of NDA govt
- Unidentified flying objects spotted over Mumbai airport not motorised: Home Department
- Bharatiya Janata Party lacks majority for Ram Temple, Article 370: Amit Shah
- MSBSHSE Class 12th HSC results 2015 to be declared at 1pm tomorrow
- AAP govt moves resolution against MHA notification: As it happened
- China doesn't recognise 'illegal' McMahon Line: Beijing responds to NSA Ajit Doval
- CBSE 10th Results 2015 to be declared on May 27
- Arpita-Aayush wedding reception: Salman Khan spreads love in Mandi, says `hum aapke hain`
- Rahul Gandhi takes a dig at one year of Modi govt, wishes 'happy birthday' to 'suit-boot ki sarkar'
- Is there life after death?