Pak PM told to reopen Zardari cases
Pakistan’s new Premier Raja Pervez Ashraf is in a fix! The newly-elected Pakistani Prime Minister on Thursday came under pressure of country’s highest court after the Supreme asked him to respond by July 12 to the orders of reopening graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari. The Supreme Court has been pressuring the government to revive cases of alleged money laundering against Zardari in Switzerland since December 2009, when it struck down a graft amnesty issued by Musharraf. Zardari, the widower of former Pak Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, was previously found guilty in 2003 of committing graft amounting to at least $ 60mn dollars.
On June 19, the Pakistan’s highest court disqualified former premier Yousuf Raza Gilani due to his conviction of contempt for refusing to reopen graft cases in Switzerland against Zardari. The Pak SC had on April 26 convicted Gilani for refusing to ask Swiss authorities to reopen corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari in a highly politicised case.
Pakistan’s Supreme Court was insisting Gillani to write to Swiss authorities to reopen graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari, saying no one is above the law.
However, Gilani had refused to reopen the cases against Zardari, saying the president enjoys complete immunity from prosecution in criminal cases in Pakistan and abroad.
It must be noted that on Sunday, Zardari issued an ordinance that gave legal cover to all actions taken by Gilani between his conviction by the Supreme Court on April 26 and his disqualification on June 19.