Revealed: PPP-led govt all set to write Swiss letter

Published: January 14, 2012

PPP sources confirmed that in the letter, the govt will state that it believes Zardari enjoys immunity, but not writing would jeopardise democracy.

LAHORE: 

After over two years of dilly-dallying on an apex court order to reopen graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari in Switzerland’s courts, the embattled government has apparently relented.

The PPP-led government has agreed to write to the Swiss authorities before January 16 seeking reopening of cases against the incumbent president in compliance with the 2009 Supreme Court order nullifying the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO), sources told The Express Tribune.

The government has also agreed to grant a key opposition demand and announce the parliamentary election schedule upon completion of new electoral rolls and finalisation of the makeup of an interim set-up.

At a recent meeting, opposition parties agreed in principle on a blueprint for the next election. However, they decided to meet again to discuss their plan before presenting it to the PPP-led coalition government.

According to sources, the government has conveyed to JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif that it is willing to write a letter to the Swiss authorities in compliance with the apex court order and call an early election, as is being demanded by opposition parties.

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani is to announce the election schedule as soon as the new voter lists are finalised which, officials say, would take another three months to complete. This means the election would be held in August or September.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman, whose JUI-F had parted ways with the ruling coalition in 2010 following differences with the government, has been assigned to pursue the government for an early finalisation of the new voter lists.

The PML-N is in no mood to move a no-confidence vote against the prime minister nor will its lawmakers resign from the assemblies en masse. Nawaz has confided in senior leaders of his party that he was using these threats as pressure tactics against the government, sources said.

The government has proposed that Aitzaz Ahsan could lead the interim set-up, sources said, adding that most opposition parties have apparently agreed to the choice. However, they decided to meet again to finalise the name of the caretaker prime minister and makeup of an independent election commission.

Sources in the PPP also confirmed to The Express Tribune that the government has decided in principle to write a letter to the Swiss authorities. In the letter, the government would state that, although it believes President Zardari enjoys constitutional immunity, it wrote the letter in the best interest of the country and democracy and not doing so would have jeopardise democracy in Pakistan.

When contacted, PPP Central Information Secretary Qamar Zaman Kaira suggested that some activity was underway – adding that his party’s legal team was working on the issue and would soon suggest a way out.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 14th, 2012.

Reader Comments (27)

  • Khan Saab
    Jan 14, 2012 - 6:11AM

    Aitazaz would be the perfect choice as caretaker, he is more close to establishment, Nawaz and judiciary than govt and can deliver desired results in next elections.

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  • Supressed, Opressed, Depressed
    Jan 14, 2012 - 6:21AM

    Can’t believe this.

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  • A. Khan
    Jan 14, 2012 - 6:34AM

    You cannot claim immunity from prosecution for crimes committed before immunity was granted. That’s one of the reasons I loathe Musharraf and his NRO, all done to save Musharraf’s own skin. Its not Zardari’s fault, who should never have been nominated for post of president given his record and background.

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  • Tufail Malik
    Jan 14, 2012 - 8:30AM

    If the democratic government work on human development projects rather than their own, then no need of early mid term election or military interference ,there is y be solution to thisroelms and that’s election and before election there sold be an interim government to streamline the economy.

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  • Mahad
    Jan 14, 2012 - 9:11AM

    It is very disturbing for all Pakistanis to know that our (not mine) leaders are busy in seat adjustments and next elections only. They are least concerned about the miseries of common people. They are discussing how to ensure their re- entry into the government, Wake up Pakistanis “Jaago” and bring change. Our leaders should come back to us for any future adjustment. It is in our Hand if we decides so………

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  • Jan 14, 2012 - 10:04AM

    Finally, the NAB and this despicable government have seen the light of the day and darkness of night. It is now; INSHALLAH, only a matter of time before this government steps down. Not with honor but DISHONOR.

    Salams to Pakistan, Supreme Court and the Army. May ALLMIGHTY ALLAH grant us peace, education and prosperity, INSHALLAH. AmeenRecommend

  • A
    Jan 14, 2012 - 10:05AM

    Please don’t make fake news. People will know the truth soon.Recommend

  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Jan 14, 2012 - 10:12AM

    Even if a letter is written to Swiss Authorities, there is a strong possibility that Swiss Authorities may not reply to the letter written by the Pakistan’s government.

    The concerned institution in Pakistan is putting the weight behind the PPP government to write such a letter, but the same institution cannot force the Swiss Authorities to reply to the letter written by the government of Pakistan.

    Its just like a wild goose chase matter.

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  • MAHER ALI
    Jan 14, 2012 - 10:12AM

    President enjoys CONSTITUTIONAL IMMUNITY… Enjoy your last para of life…

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  • R S JOHAR
    Jan 14, 2012 - 10:29AM

    Too late. All has already been lost.

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  • Raj - USA
    Jan 14, 2012 - 11:05AM

    @Mohammad Ali Siddiqui:
    I agree. By forcing to write the letter, the Judiciary shall only make a mockery of itself and GOP. The Government had already written to Swiss Authorities to close the case and Swiss Authorities shall not be dancing to the tunes of Pakistan’s Judiciary, which has very little respect internationallyRecommend

  • Seizure
    Jan 14, 2012 - 12:26PM

    Loose-Loose for the People of Pakistan, all thanks to our supreme ‘democratic’ institution:
    The corrupt PPP-PMLQ-MQM government survives; The ever friendly PMLn dont loose their senate seats; and The JUI-F have dinners inside the golden palaces of Islamabad.

    Recommend

  • Mirza
    Jan 14, 2012 - 12:30PM

    This action should take the wind out of the sails of some. After this only one more case would be left for PCO SC against the govt. They must be glad that the unsigned Memo case has been in the pipeline before it dries up. The whole world would see that SC has wasted so much time and money on one case which the Swiss govt is not going to reactivate at all.

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  • jai zardari
    Jan 14, 2012 - 12:48PM

    this letter will certainly boost the ego of ex PCO judge and and nothing else
    Today people are against zardari,the same people were against benazir and zulfiqarRecommend

  • Ammad Malik
    Jan 14, 2012 - 1:30PM

    @A. Khan

    Although there can be other reasons to justify a proceeding against a sitting President, you’re argument is incorrect.

    Protection to President, Governor, Minister, etc.
    (1) The President, a Governor, the Prime Minister, a Federal Minister, a Minister of State, the Chief Minister and a Provincial Minister shall not he answerable to any court for the exercise of powers and performance of functions of their respective offices or for any act done or purported to be done in the exercise of those powers and performance of those functions:
    Provided that nothing in this clause shall be construed as restricting the right of any person to bring appropriate proceedings against the Federation or a Province.

    (2) No criminal proceedings whatsoever shall be instituted or continued against the President or a Governor in any court during his term of office.
    (3) No process for the arrest or imprisonment of the President or a Governor shall issue from any court during his term of office.
    (4) No civil proceedings in which relief is claimed against the President or a Governor shall be instituted during his term of office in respect of anything done by or not done by him in his personal capacity whether before or after he enters upon his office unless, at least sixty days before the proceedings are instituted, notice in writing has been delivered to him, or sent to him in the manner prescribed by law, stating the nature of the proceedings, the cause of action, the name, description and place of residence of the party by whom the proceedings are to be instituted and the relief which the party claims.

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  • Adeel
    Jan 14, 2012 - 2:04PM

    PML(N)’s efforts are brining colors. Good work

    Recommend

  • Ali Wazir
    Jan 14, 2012 - 2:08PM

    Lol so every one is pretending PTI does not exist. The “opposition” Led by NS and Fazlu and JI will swap with ppp for five years, till then Bilawal will be readyRecommend

  • Jan 14, 2012 - 2:23PM

    Vienna,January 14,2012
    Believe it or not, this website is visited by Pakistanis out
    side Pakistan and interested outsiders.The judicial one straw revolution not coup
    is going to be non starter.Ijaz Mansoor has yet more truth
    hidden for revealing.Bolts and nuts come out in U.S.Foreign
    Policy Magazine.Can in half or partial reality one judicial
    straw revolution take place? It is because half or parts of
    a straw do not make a full straw.It is after all a tense comedy
    to laugh it of belly out.
    Taravadu Taranga Trust for Media Monitoring TTTMM India
    –Kulamarva BalakrishnaRecommend

  • jai zardari
    Jan 14, 2012 - 2:41PM

    keep after presidents ,prime ministers,politicians.it wil
    do good to army who has escaped all,punishment for it’s failures

    Recommend

  • Imran
    Jan 14, 2012 - 3:41PM

    A care taker PM in any democracy is not an active member of a political party. Do pakistanis understand what democracy actually means?? In a real democracy majority of the politicians in the pak assembly would be in prison. In the UK david cameron would not be elected as a PM if he had outstanding corruption cases against him. So please rather than making the term “sex” as the most popular term searched on google, maybe paks should start searching for “democracy”. Furthermore pakistanis call its nation an “islamic republic”, but in an islamic republic the president doesnt have immunity! Read the history of khulafa rashideen

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  • nnk
    Jan 14, 2012 - 4:01PM

    @Mohammad Ali Siddiqui:
    According to my understanding, the last date for acceptance of such letter by the Swiss Authorities is sometimes in March this year, after which it will become time-bar and cannot be admitted. That is why the SC was pushing the case so vigorously and the government applying delaying tactics. If the government is actually considering writing the letter after all, it is good news for everyone and will close the prolonged NRO case amicably and save the government of the consequences that would otherwise have followed after 16th January hearing by the Larger Bench of the SC.

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  • Jan 14, 2012 - 4:44PM

    All credit goes to Ch Shujaat’s efforts and his dialogue in fact “MITI PAO” policy, he convinced Zardari and Kayani to avoid clash of institutions PML Q zindabad

    Recommend

  • salim1710@hotmail.com
    Jan 14, 2012 - 5:20PM

    @Khan Saab:
    Atizaz? He has baggage too! Gas quota’s etc.

    Recommend

  • truepak
    Jan 14, 2012 - 6:39PM

    Someone please pinch me!Recommend

  • Naveen Shah
    Jan 14, 2012 - 8:27PM

    I wonder why only Zardari is being criticized, there are lot of peoples who are required by NAB, did any Government (1996-2007) tried to retrieve looted money but to keep them on run. we all know our guys who were just like an ordinary person before 1980 but now have billions of rupees no matter which party they belong or which office they hold, because every one need his/her share in corruption. Only the aim is to keeping the opponents away from the Govt office. I want to ask why Supreme Court did not touch Mehran bank scandal, Hudeeba paper mill and several other pending cases against PML-N leaders. The hobnobbing between PML-N and Judiciary would be harmful for democracy.Recommend

  • I. Kamal
    Jan 15, 2012 - 11:20PM

    The main reason for prolonging the agony of Pakistan is the inability of the Supreme Court to take decisions and pronounce judgements. They are no better than the “friendly opposition” of Nawaz Sharif. Everybody is just biding time. Soon the Hon’ble Chief Justices will go into happy retirement. Nobody cares that the rulers are milking the poor cow of Pakistan dry to skin and bones.

    Recommend

  • Danish
    Jan 16, 2012 - 3:19PM

    The free and fair polls can be a foundation for future of stateRecommend

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