Zardari gets reprieve in dual office case
Lahore: A court on Friday dismissed a petition seeking action against President Asif Ali Zardari under the contempt of court law after it was informed that he had quit his political office as head of the Pakistan Peoples Party.
Appreciating the President's recent decision to comply with the court's suggestion that he should quit the political post, Lahore High Court Chief Justice Umar Atta Bandial remarked: "The masses expect the President to remain impartial and play the role of the father of the nation".
Bandial, who was heading a five-judge bench that heard the petition, further said, "It is highly appreciable to see the acceptance of the court's order by the man who is holding the highest office of the state. It shows the supremacy of the law".
Wasim Sajjad, the counsel of the federal government, informed the court that Zardari had quit the office of co-chairman of the PPP and now his son, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, was the party's patron-in-chief.
"The PPP has been registered with the Election Commission of Pakistan," Sajjad said.
Earlier, he had told the court that the PPP was a "private organisation" that was not registered with the poll panel but his arguments did not convince the judges.
Zardari quit the office of co-chairman of the PPP last week to avert any adverse decision in the case.
Sajjad further informed the High Court that no political activity had been held at the presidency after the court's order in this regard.
Advocate Azhar Saddiq, who had filed the petition, had sought contempt proceedings against Zardari for not quitting his political office in line with a suggestion made by the Lahore High Court in May 2011.