With some speculating that a Supreme Court verdict against the Prime Minister will see Yousaf Raza Gilani be ‘sacrificed’, Aitzaz Ahsan says they would be disappointed. All this, without Gilani seeking a Presidential pardon against his conviction.
Speaking on the Express News show with Kamran Shahid after being elected to the Senate, the Prime Minister’s chief counsel, Aitzaz Ahsan said that the “Prime Minister will not advise the President to give him a pardon if convicted.”
Ahsan explained the entire process by which the Prime Minister would be forced to relinquish his seat in the assembly, and hence the Prime Minister’s office as a result of his disqualification.
“The entire process could take months,” he said.
Ahsan explained that not all convictions result in an MNA’s disqualification. “Once the verdict comes, the case will be put before the speaker of the national assembly, where the speaker will have 30 days from the time the resolution is moved to decide whether Gilani can be disqualified due to the verdict,” he said.
Even if the Speaker declares the Prime Minister as disqualified, the matter then has to be deliberated before the election commission, which has to decide within 90 days whether this verdict disqualifies Gilani as an MNA. This too would not be the end of the road. The Prime Minister can challenge the Election commission’s ruling in the high court.
In the event the Speaker decides Gilani’s verdict does not disqualify him, a writ petition can challenge this in the high court which can then be taken up contested.
“I am hopeful that I can still persuade the Judges that the Prime Minister is not in contempt,” said a smiling Ahsan.
Writing a letter will not bring money back
The Prime Minsiter’s counsel, when asked why has a letter not been written, given it had drawn the ire of the Supreme Court, Ahsan replied that given the counsel the Prime Minister received from the Law Ministry, writing the letter would not solve the issue.
“The case was closed on merit,” Ahsan contended. He continued that writing the letter would not solve it.
“To get money out of Swiss accounts, the government would need to file a civil suit in Switzerland. However, he added that “the time bar for filing this case has passed.”
Hence, even if the government wanted, they cannot get the money in Swiss accounts back.