Write to Swiss govt or face contempt charges,Pak SC warns PM

Refusing to give in to his arguments,Pakistan’s Supreme Court told embattled Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani that he had no option

Written by Press Trust Of India | Islamabad | Published:February 10, 2012 1:08 am

Refusing to give in to his arguments,Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Thursday told embattled Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani that he had no option but to write to Swiss authorities to revive graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari as no one was above the law.

Hearing Gilani’s appeal against an apex court order summoning him on February 13 for framing contempt charges over his failure to act on its directive to reopen corruption cases against Zardari,a bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry said the PM should have taken the initiative. The court said it had shown patience in the two years since it ordered that the matter be taken up with Switzerland. It said contempt proceedings against Gilani would automatically end if he wrote a letter to Swiss authorities to reopen graft cases against Zardari.

The SC is expected to give its ruling on Gilani’s 200-page appeal soon as the bench directed his lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan to complete his arguments by Friday morning.

The person involved in the graft cases is the head of the PM’s party PPP but no one is above the law,Chaudhry said. The 60 million dollars that were allegedly laundered will come back to Pakistan only if the letter is written to Swiss authorities,the bench said.

Besides Switzerland,the government will have to approach other countries to revive graft cases,the Chief Justice indicated. “The PM should not be the person to undermine any institution. This money will not come to our pockets. Actually it is the nation which wants this money,” Chaudhry said.

The SC has been pressuring the government to revive the cases against Zardari in Switzerland since December 2009,when it struck down a graft amnesty issued by Pervez Musharraf. The government has refused,saying the President enjoys complete immunity from prosecution in criminal cases.

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