Prefer contempt charges over violating Constitution: Gilani

Published: March 15, 2012

I'd rather be incarcerated for contempt than be handed the death penalty by violating Article 6, says Gilani. PHOTO: KASHIR ZAFAR/ EXPRESS

BAHAWALPUR: As the issue for writing a letter to Swiss authorities gains momentum, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said on Thursday that he would rather be incarcerated for contempt of court than be handed a death penalty for violating Article 6 of the Constitution.

Speaking to a gathering of Islamia University’s students in Bahawalpur, Gilani said that he is not writing a letter to the Swiss authorities according to the rules of business and Constitution. “If I write the letter, it will be a violation of the Article 6 of the Constitution.”

Prime Minister Gilani was served a contempt notice in the NRO implementation case when the government did not follow the court’s orders of writing a letter to the Swiss authority to reopen graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.

Seraiki province issue

Days after raising voice for the creation of a Seraiki province, Gilani said that those who talk about formation of Bahawalpur and Seraiki province only want to cast a dispute among the people.

Lashing out at the parties demanding new provinces, he said, “If they talk so much for the creation of Bahawalpur and Seraiki province, I ask, they should try moving a resolution in the Punjab Assembly. They will not let anything like this happen.”

He said that administrative rights were given to the Bahawalpur province in the British colonial era. “We don’t want administrative rights. We want our own provincial assembly.”

Reader Comments (41)

  • babar khan
    Mar 15, 2012 - 3:11PM

    So the Prime minister’s loyalty lies with the ppp and not with pakistan.Someone should remind him he took oath to be the leader of an entire country not just one political party.His loyalty should lie with the country,not just his party.

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  • shahrukh siddiqui
    Mar 15, 2012 - 3:14PM

    After taking advantage of all the perks and privileges of being the prime minister of pakistan,now mr.Gilani acts as if he’s the prime minister of ppp only.All the benefits and wealth accumulated by using pakistan’s name should be returned now.

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  • Amir
    Mar 15, 2012 - 3:14PM

    going against Zardari is equal to the death penalty awarded to Mr. PM, he will not go against constitution but ready to violate the law and supremacy of SC……May God bless this country!

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  • A J Khan
    Mar 15, 2012 - 3:15PM

    Technically PM is correct. The question is whether court can strike down what has been written in the constitution.

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  • Noble Tufail
    Mar 15, 2012 - 3:17PM

    who is the team leader here NAB or SC?

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  • umair
    Mar 15, 2012 - 3:18PM

    Hypocrisy at its peak.
    He talks about violating the constitution….. more like saving his looted bank balance

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  • Hafiz Shah Ali
    Mar 15, 2012 - 3:21PM

    He is asking for some serious trouble.This is cear contempt of court.It for courts to interpret the constitution and not for the PM especially when highest court of country has given an order/decision

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  • Maryam
    Mar 15, 2012 - 3:28PM

    Brave Mr Gilani. The people of Pakistan will stand with you and with the constitution.

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  • ZYZE
    Mar 15, 2012 - 3:29PM

    some things will never change..!!!

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  • dv sikka
    Mar 15, 2012 - 3:35PM

    A funny tug of war between the SC and administration. Moral of the story – we damn care for the rule of law.

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  • Mar 15, 2012 - 3:41PM

    Yes mister prime minister u shouldn’t write letter, u shouldn’t bring back the money of nation, keep it up

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  • KB
    Mar 15, 2012 - 4:05PM

    He’s my favourite, he is so funny.

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  • amk
    Mar 15, 2012 - 4:23PM

    Dear Pm, plz dont come again to bwp..coz of jammers no mob signals n roads are blocked…

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  • Z
    Mar 15, 2012 - 4:31PM

    @Maryam: According to the constitution, the President of Pakistan must not hold political office. Are you going to stand with the constitution and demand the resignation of Zardari?

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  • sohails
    Mar 15, 2012 - 5:04PM

    Oh my dear PM. The common masses are just fool who don’t understand your love for the President, country & the damn constitution. It’s not funny please….. It’s a really lesson for the whole nation & political parties who even now support these —– Recommend

  • Cautious
    Mar 15, 2012 - 6:00PM

    Amazing. The SC is trying to do the job of the Executive branch – and the Executive branch is trying to do the job of the SC —– only in Pakistan.

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  • B N Mohapatra
    Mar 15, 2012 - 6:29PM

    The PM is very right in his stand. The Judiciary is showing its activism after a long period of hibernation.When there is imposition of Marshal Law or hanging of a popular political leader, it was so silent!

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  • ht312
    Mar 15, 2012 - 7:00PM

    @A J Khan:
    technically the court is the interpreter of the constitution not the prime minister.

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  • Optimistic Pakistani
    Mar 15, 2012 - 7:08PM

    He is giving all the more reasons to the masses by his statements and acts to understand PPP better….!

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  • smj
    Mar 15, 2012 - 8:05PM

    ooay Jiay Bhutto!

    consti clearly says a sitting president has immunity in pakistan and in international court. why these judges want to make Pakistan a laughing stock on international stage by forcing government to write a request to swiss court system to open a closed case against thier own head of state.

    These judges . They are the one violating the constitution’s article 6 in first place.Recommend

  • PARDESI
    Mar 15, 2012 - 8:45PM

    Does our constitution says to protect corrupt people no matter who they are, or the liars who fight election on false documents or slap the election commission staff to get their way. If the prime minister goes to the assembly and says I need to amed the constitution to stop corruption would the assembly not support him. It will be sad day if the court does not take action against the people trying to protect corrupt officials.

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  • Mar 15, 2012 - 9:46PM

    The best course of action when there is a dispute between judiciary and legislature is to dissolve the parliament and call for elections.

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  • Ayesha
    Mar 15, 2012 - 10:04PM

    According to the constitution, the constitutional court is the SC, hence it is the one that interprets the constitution. Parliament can only make laws within the ambit of the constitution. The prime minister or parliament cannot decide for themselves how the constitution can be interpreted. Why is the media not highlighting this?

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  • Mirza
    Mar 15, 2012 - 10:14PM

    @B N Mohapatra:
    I support your statment. In addition the judiciary was not silent when the elected PM was hanged. It was the instrument used by the generals to do that. It provided the legal cover to the fundamentalist Gen Zia for his crimes. In fact from Ayub to Mush there has not been a single military takeover that the SC has not liked.
    Regards,
    Mirza

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  • Saleem bhuta
    Mar 15, 2012 - 10:30PM

    Great courage Gillani sab…

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  • dv sikka
    Mar 15, 2012 - 11:37PM

    The issue that needs to be addressed is how to give the people the rule of law.It has become a standard practice in Pakistan administration to keep draggging their feet and nothing gets decided. Lat PM and CJ keep fighting, the losers in the end are the people of Pakistan. It is disgusting. When will be see a peaceful and prosperous Pakistan.

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  • B N Mohapatra
    Mar 15, 2012 - 11:41PM

    @Optimistic Pakistani: Court is the interpreter of Constitution. You are very right. So what? Does it mean that a citizen is allowed by Law to forget his constitutional obligation and not to act as per constitution; does it mean that the President is not immuned by Constitution? Has the Court the right to take away that constitutional right from the President? Its not and Court is not dealing that matter now. The whole issue should be seen explicitly and not as piecemeal. The PM is a PM because he has been appointed by the President and he can not go against him. The Court rather deal with the President directly and deal with the Swiss Court directly. Why putting this law-abiding and sincere man in crisis.

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  • shar uk
    Mar 16, 2012 - 12:52AM

    @mahapatra your comment stating gilani sincere and law abiding is stupppid at best and disgracefull at worst

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  • Mohsin
    Mar 16, 2012 - 1:51AM

    No wonder ours’ is a strange nation: some people are commending this ‘courageous’ prime minister.

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  • Mansoor
    Mar 16, 2012 - 2:17AM

    @Z:

    According to the Constitution being chairmanship of a party is not an office of the public! Please get your facts right.

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  • Mansoor
    Mar 16, 2012 - 2:20AM

    Hats off Prime Minister!

    Time to send some judges to gallows for violating Article 6 and committing High Treason.

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  • hasan
    Mar 16, 2012 - 3:21AM

    @A J Khan:
    The SC interprets the Constitution – it is not the role of the PM or the Parliament to interpret. This distinction of roles has even greater importance in Pakistan given the very basic level of education of many of the parliamentarians. Recommend

  • hasan
    Mar 16, 2012 - 3:29AM

    @B N Mohapatra:

    Your statement is nonsense and the PM is certainly wrong in his stand! Again for all non-lawyers making a comment, the role of the SC is to interpret the Constitution and to ensure that Parliament only enacts laws (legislation) that adheres to the Constitution. Often the SC may appear to displaying “activism” especially when an illiterate Parliament attempts to incorrectly interpret the Constitution – as is often the case with the PPP majority Parliament.Recommend

  • hasan
    Mar 16, 2012 - 3:38AM

    @B N Mohapatra:
    “The PM is a PM because he has been appointed by the President and he can not go against him.”
    Again this is a nonsense statement! Back to politics 101 for you. The PM has a legal duty to the Parliament and to the people of Pakistan – certainly not to behave illegally to please the President.Recommend

  • Saleem bhuta
    Mar 16, 2012 - 5:17AM

    Zardari was in jail 11 years. Why don’t musharaf wrote letter to swis courts ?

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  • Asma
    Mar 16, 2012 - 6:00AM

    @Mansoor:
    Are you a SC judge or an advocate of the court assisting such a judge? If not, you have no standing in deciding whether a judge/s is violating the Constitution. You’re just another know-all Pakistani man!

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  • Asma
    Mar 16, 2012 - 7:11AM

    @Cautious:
    What is amazing is that the Executive appears totally inept and completely incapable of competently performing its role – only in Pakistan!

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  • A. Khan
    Mar 16, 2012 - 2:51PM

    What an example this PM is setting for the country. That it is ok to ignore the Supreme Court. Can’t really blame him, rot started with Nawaz Sharif and Musharraf.

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  • B N Mohapatra
    Mar 16, 2012 - 3:03PM

    @shar uk: Every person is entitled to have his opinion and you too to your opinion and I am entirely correct in my proposition that he is reasonably honest and highly sincere as a politician. This remark is neither stupid nor disgraceful. This is quite an appropriate judgement and I differ from your opinion, while sticking to my opinion.

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  • B N Mohapatra
    Mar 16, 2012 - 3:12PM

    @hasan:
    This statement may appear as nonsense to you, because you may have different level and angle of understanding things depending on your personal education, experience, exposures etc etc and I have no hesitation in reading your point of view in that context. But Its the truth and constitutionally right. About his answering to Parliament. he is adequately doing that job and enjoys the confidence of the Parliament. He need not enjoy the confidence of the Judiciary because that is another organ of the State and can have conflicting interests.

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  • hasan
    Mar 17, 2012 - 2:43PM

    @B N Mohapatra:
    What is your point? Your answer fails to address the points that I have raised.

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