Pakistan`s judiciary free, independent: Minister
Islamabad: Pakistan`s judiciary was functioning freely and independently, said a minister after a court announced its verdict in a corruption case.
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan on Sunday said in Sialkot that the country`s judiciary was functioning freely and independently and the verdict a court gave in the Societe Generale Surveillance (SGS) case was an evidence of this fact, Associated Press of Pakistan reported.
The accountability court on Saturday declared Swiss national Jens Schlegilmitch as proclaimed offender in the SGS case.
The National Accountability Bureau had in 1998 prepared a corruption reference against the late former prime minister Benazir Bhutto and her spouse Asif Ali Zardari, who is now the President, accusing them of awarding a pre-shipment inspection contract to the SGS in return for six percent commission on the total amount the company received from the Pakistan government.
In 2009, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) withdrew the cases against Zardari under the National Reconciliation Ordinance of 2007. The ordinance was issued by then president Parvez Musharraf, facilitating Benazir Bhutto and Zardari to return to Pakistan.
But, in December 2009, the Supreme Court declared the ordinance void and ordered reopening of the cases against President Zardari and other beneficiaries of the SGS.
The verdict indicated that the judiciary was working independently in the country, the minister said, adding the verdict had proved the innocence of President Asif Ali Zardari and Benazir Bhutto in the case.
Awan said the verdict of accountability court would not only pave way for upholding the supremacy of truth and justice but also a free and independent judiciary would strengthen the democratic institutions.
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