'Pakistan government is in serious trouble'
Islamabad: Regardless of the decision the Supreme Court may take on Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, "what is clear is that his government is in serious trouble", said a daily.
Gilani on Thursday made his submission before a seven-member bench that issued a contempt of court notice to him for not implementing a directive to act against President Asif Ali Zardari for corruption.
An editorial in the News International on Friday said the theatrics that some had anticipated as Gilani appeared in court in the contempt case against him did not occur.
"Of course they could occur later down the line as the historic case continues after a two-week adjournment."
It said that the position that is to be taken by Gilani has already become clear during the brief proceedings that did take place.
Gilani held that a letter had not been sent to Switzerland as the President enjoyed immunity. The court stated that immunity needs to be sought from the courts.
"Whatever happens to PM Gilani in the courtroom in the coming days - and after today his days as Pakistan's Prime Minister are surely going to be a lot harder - what is clear is that his government is in serious trouble," the editorial said.
"In terms of form, the government side was very proper before the courtroom, exercising just the right judicial protocol and necessary dignity and courtesy. But hard times could be getting harder for a government that doesn't realise that form and style will no longer get it out of the myriad troubles it is in. What it needs is to follow up with substance and deeds," it added.
It went on to say that keeping aside the technicalities of the issue "in essence, the line the government has taken amounts to saying elected representatives cannot be held accountable".
"Does this government, already under fire for sundry corruption cases and for the economic ravages facing the masses, want to add blatant disregard for accountability to the top of the tottering pile in the tray of its failings?," the daily asked.
"The challenge for the Prime Minister is somehow to connect his own worthy but airy talk in court about accountability and respect for the law with real action. Not following the law will only further corrode the standing of this government and its representatives, and that will cost more than writing any letter ever could."