Zardari graft case: PPP not to act on SC`s orders

Pakistan`s ruling PPP has decided it will not act on the SC`s orders to revive graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari at any cost.

Islamabad: Pakistan`s ruling PPP has decided
it will not act on the Supreme Court`s orders to revive graft
cases against President Asif Ali Zardari at any cost and is
prepared to face the potential consequences, including the
disqualification of the Premier who is facing a contempt

Even if the court decides to act against Prime Minister
Yousuf Raza Gilani, the PPP is ready to accept that as the
Premier has categorically stated in recent remarks, a senior
federal minister told the Dawn newspaper.

Both Gilani and Zardari, who is the head of the PPP, had
"made up their minds to face the worst", the unnamed minister

"However, one thing is sure that the present government
by its own would not write a letter to the Swiss authorities
to reopen graft cases against President Zardari," the minister

According to the Premier`s lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan, Gilani
would not lose his job even if he is convicted in the contempt
case, the minister said.

Under the Constitution, there is a long process to be
followed before a member of the National Assembly or lower
house of Parliament loses his membership in case of a
conviction, the minister added.

In a reply submitted to the Supreme Court yesterday
regarding the contempt case, Gilani again said the government
could not act on orders to revive alleged money laundering
cases against Zardari in Switzerland as the President enjoyed
immunity both within Pakistan and abroad.

Action could not be taken on the court`s orders as long
as Zardari remained in office, Gilani said.

He further suggested that the matter of Presidential
immunity should be referred to Parliament.

The apex court has been pushing the government to revive
the cases against Zardari since December 2009, when it struck
down a graft amnesty issued by the then military ruler Pervez

During a lunch he hosted in honour of visiting Thai
Princess Maha Chakri Sirndhora yesterday, Gilani was composed
and smiling, and showed no signs of strain due to the contempt
case in the apex court.

"Mr Gilani was looking his usual self. At no point and
time did he give the impression that his job was on the line;
or that an adverse court ruling on the contempt charges could
send him home," the Dawn reported.

An unnamed leader of a party that is in the PPP-led
ruling coalition told the daily that the "the PPP leadership
was really looking pumped up" after having secured a majority
in the Senate in recent polls and having entered the last year
of its five-year tenure.

On the other hand, the Supreme Court had lost crucial
time in the contempt case which could have been decided a long
time ago, the leader said.

The leader believed that any court decision that removed
Gilani from his post would only benefit the PPP because it
would once again cry foul.

"I personally believe the court will not provide this
opportunity to the PPP and let it face people in the next
general election," the leader said.

In the response submitted in the apex court yesterday,
Gilani raised many points, including his distrust in a
seven-judge bench hearing the contempt case and this has made
the job difficult for judges.

Observers have said the PPP is fighting the case on
political and legal grounds and the court would have to be
very careful in its response.


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