PPP upset with SC order on Prez graft cases

PPP expressed disappointment at the SC order on reopening graft cases against President Zardari while opposition parties say that the court has shown flexibility.

Lahore: The ruling Pakistan People`s Party
has expressed disappointment at the Supreme Court`s order on
reopening graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari while
opposition parties say the court has shown flexibility by
offering six options for implementing its ruling.

The PPP believes the apex court`s "aggressive" stance
will result in political and economic instability in Pakistan.
In its order issued yesterday, the court warned that
action could be taken against the President and Prime Minister
for failing to revive high-profile corruption cases.

"We regret the Supreme Court`s decision as we were
expecting that it would help strengthen the political system
and democracy in the country, but the case is otherwise," said
Imtiaz Safdar Warraich, the head of the PPP Punjab chapter.
The verdict will lead to political and economic
stability, he said.

"It will have a disastrous impact on the country`s
economy, which is already in bad shape," Warraich said, adding
the apex court had ignored the President`s immunity from
prosecution under Article 248 of the Constitution.

"This Constitution also sets the age of 65 for
superannuation of judges unlike other departments. We respect
the judges and they should respect the Constitution," he said.

Former military ruler Pervez Musharraf had issued the
National Reconciliation Ordinance in 2007 to withdraw
corruption cases against 8,000 persons, including politicians
and bureaucrats.

Slain former premier Benazir Bhutto and her husband,
Zardari, were among the beneficiaries of the graft amnesty.
The apex court struck down the NRO in December 2009.
Since then, it has been pushing the government to revive
corruption cases against Zardari in Switzerland.

The government has refused to do so on the ground that
the President has constitutional immunity.

Warriach said the PPP`s leadership would finalise its
strategy on the six options given by the apex court for
implementing its order on the NRO before the next hearing on
January 16.

Shafqat Mahmood, the spokesman for cricketer-turned-
politician Imran Khan`s Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf party, said:
"The Supreme Court has shown flexibility by offering six
options to the government for implementation its verdict on
the NRO."

Mahmood said his party would stand with the Supreme Court
if the government tried to "attack" it.
"Now it is the government`s responsibility to act
according to the Supreme Court’s verdict. We will support the
apex court if the executive goes against the verdict. We`ll
force the corrupt politicians to leave the government."

Jamaat-e-Islami chief Munawar Hasan described the court`s
judgment as "most prudent" and advised the PPP leadership to
respect and implement the apex court orders instead of going
in for a confrontation.

He said that on one hand, the government claimed it was
giving due respect to the apex court but on the other, the
President and the Prime Minister had bluntly rejected its
orders by avoiding writing to the Swiss authorities to reopen
cases of alleged money laundering against Zardari.

Hasan said the apex court had given another opportunity
to the government and its leaders could review their conduct
and implement the courts directives.

Senior PML-N leader Khwaja Asif said the NRO was the
"blackest spot" of the country`s history and it would be
better for the government to obey the court`s order in this
regard instead of confronting the judiciary.

"The nation is expecting the Supreme Court not to show
any further leniency to law enforcement authorities in
connection with getting its orders implemented," Asif said.