Zardari will have immunity in Switzerland: Aitzaz Ahsan

Published: January 14, 2012

PPP leader says his decision does not matches with the party's decision. PHOTO: PPI/FILE

LAHORE: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Aitzaz Ahsan said on Saturday that President Asif Ali Zardari will have complete immunity in Switzerland under the Vienna Convention, reported Express News.

Speaking to the media in Lahore, Ahsan said that his stance differs from PPP’s decision regarding writing of letter to Swiss authorities, adding that it is not necessary that his stance stays the same as the decisions taken by the party’s top leaders.

President Zardari had earlier, in an interview, said that most PPP leaders believe that the government should not write a letter to the Swiss authorities requesting reopening of graft cases against him.

The president had said that writing a letter to the Swiss authorities would be tantamount to putting the grave of his slain wife Benazir Bhutto on trial. He added that after the expiry of his term, anybody could put him on trial.

Ahsan also denied reports that he had contacted Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) on behalf of his party for backtrack diplomacy, and he added that there was also no communication going on between the government and the judiciary.

Ahsan further said that democracy in the country will not be in danger if the prime minister is removed constitutionally and a vote of confidence is passed in the assembly in a parliamentary manner.

“Democracy is only in danger from people who think of or carry out unconstitutional or extra-constitutional acts,” he said.

The leader denied of receiving offers for the prime minister’s post or the party’s chairmanship, saying that being a part of the party, he has submitted his application to contest in the upcoming Senate elections.

Commenting on the sacking of the defence secretary by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, Ahsan said that the prime minister has the right to appoint his team and to dismiss an official from his responsibilities.

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Reader Comments (25)

  • Mirza
    Jan 14, 2012 - 1:05PM

    Dr. Ahsan is correct. Govt should write a letter to Swiss for once again reopening the case after they have gone back and forth. The Swiss govt would refuse and this case in the SC would be a whole lot of nothing just like the Salim Shahzad’s report. More waste of time and money by the PCO SC and its judges. PPP and govt must listen to good advise of Dr. Ahsan.

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  • Jan 14, 2012 - 1:10PM

    I wonder why only zardari is being criticised, there are lot of peoples who are required by NAB, did any govenment (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, bocz every one need his/her share in corruption. only the aim is to keeping the opponents away from the govt office..Recommend

  • Khan Saab
    Jan 14, 2012 - 1:40PM

    Then Aitaza should also say that Chief Justice is not respecting Vienna Convention!

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  • Ali Wazir
    Jan 14, 2012 - 2:11PM

    Aitazaz playing both sides of the fence as usual. Very principled till PPP changes the principles. How about the LNG scandal Sir??, should NAB investigate a certain contender for PM who received payments from JJVL….

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  • alicia
    Jan 14, 2012 - 2:40PM

    So basically Zardari will write a letter and it will be useless. Whats the whole point of this drama then?

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  • A
    Jan 14, 2012 - 2:49PM

    @ahmed:
    rightly said

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  • ZKhan
    Jan 14, 2012 - 2:49PM

    Still soemwhat sanity prevails some where. A Ahsan is a seasoned law expert, always comes out with reasonable argument. Problem however is the presence of hatred amongst top states palyers not permitting logic to be evaluated and implemented and then as end result country and people suffer. If at all CJ has become adament for Swiss Letter let it go if immunity exists in that country no harm will come to President. It is now time one of trika should bow head failing which one can read writing on the wall which unfortunately will not be good either for country or for the people of Paksitan.

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  • Mirza
    Jan 14, 2012 - 2:50PM

    @alicia:
    The PCO SC and its judges’s egos would be satisfied to have on up on the elected govt. Like the other reports by the SC judges this would be a whole lot of nothing at great expense. This is a game of ego and nothing to do with laws.
    Regards,
    Mirza

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  • Khadim
    Jan 14, 2012 - 3:05PM

    Yeah perhaps that is true…..but only until just the end of his presidency….he DOES NOT enjoy immunity for life.

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  • jai zardari
    Jan 14, 2012 - 3:14PM

    just ridiculing the whole country,one of the most useless directive to bring disrepute to Pakistan
    why can’t CJ wait till president finishes his term? or is it revenge before he leaves

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  • iWatch
    Jan 14, 2012 - 3:31PM

    Why are they so afraid then?

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  • Jan 14, 2012 - 4:01PM

    Nothing will happen to Gov. Media should focus on Ch Shujaat’s statement

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  • dv sikka
    Jan 14, 2012 - 4:28PM

    Another memogate kind of drama. Pakistan is in a mess and people are suffering. The bickering between SC, Zardari administration and Army must come to an end. They hold their offices for the good of the people of Pakistan. Let people needs to be addressed first.Recommend

  • A. Khan
    Jan 14, 2012 - 5:53PM

    One cannot claim immunity on charges that were laid before immunity was granted. Aitzaz Ahsan is an experienced lawyer and should understand this basic legal tenet. Yet, he chooses to come up with these inane and parochial statements.I certainly expect more from him as a lawyer rather than as a person but I guess he is more interested in endearing himself to AZ.

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  • Zubaida
    Jan 14, 2012 - 8:26PM

    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 internationally. This action should take the wind out of the sails of some. After this only one more case would be left for PCO Supreme Court 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.Recommend

  • JustAnotherPakistani
    Jan 14, 2012 - 10:08PM

    Isn’t there something wrong when a sitting president is claiming immunity from prosecution because of his position? Recommend

  • Zalim singh
    Jan 14, 2012 - 10:54PM

    SURE

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  • K. Salim Jahangir
    Jan 14, 2012 - 11:41PM

    If he gets immunity in Switzerland i will lose faith in justice.Recommend

  • K. Salim Jahangir
    Jan 15, 2012 - 12:25AM

    One will lose faith in justice if he gets immunity in Switzerland.

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  • Gulfam
    Jan 15, 2012 - 12:48AM

    @Mirza:
    Aitzaz Ahsan is not a doctor.

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  • Mirza
    Jan 15, 2012 - 1:55AM

    Zardari was elected with heavy mandate despite all these prior allegations and 11 years of jail without being convicted by any court of law. Once again elections would prove who do the people of Pakistan like and trust. Learn to live with the will of the people till next elections. Like we had put up with three army dictators for over 30 years. Despite losing wars and more than half the country.

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  • basharat
    Jan 15, 2012 - 5:29AM

    The opinion of Aitzaz Ahsan Sahib is hidden in thick layers of expediency. His stance that there is no harm to write the letter to the Swiss Court because the President will have complete immunity under Vienna Convention. He has not explained about the immunity available to him under Article 248 of our own Constitution. The question of immunity to the President has not been decided so far, forcing the Government to write the letter for opening of the cases against the President is uncalled for. Such immunity had also been incorprated under article 361 of Indian constitution, Article 213, and Article 116, of constitutions of Pakistan 1956 and 1962 respectively. It has been contended by some quarters that the immunity can be awarded only if it is claimed, the language of the Article belies this stance.

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  • Hasan
    Jan 15, 2012 - 9:38AM

    “Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Aitzaz Ahsan said on Saturday that President Asif Ali Zardari will have complete immunity in Switzerland under the Vienna Convention.”
    This is the opinion of one lawyer; a lawyer with NO ROLE in determining the issue of immunity!

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  • Ahmer Ali
    Jan 15, 2012 - 11:44AM

    The article 248 is the most strongest wall/gulf between Zardari and the allegations and accusations against him.In this the most critical condition Zardari himself voluntarily has to present himself in the Supreme Court so that he could clear himself from all the allegations and accusations instead of claiming immunity and exemption so that Zardari being a true and fearless muslim could show the live example of first self-accountability before the nation so that it could be proven that law is above and equal for every one in Pakistan.

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  • Ali
    Jan 16, 2012 - 9:44AM

    Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan is wasting his time and energy in PPP, recognize yourself man, you are not suppose to live life like an ordinary man. you are a leader and people are behind you make your own party or join PTI, do some thing big.

    Don’t worry if moving slowly be worry if standing still.

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