Reiterating that nobody is above the law, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain has said that Thursday’s verdict of the apex court does not say anything about the disqualification of Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani.
The Supreme Court convicted the prime minister of contempt for his refusal to write to authorities in Switzerland to reopen graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari, who is also co-chairperson of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).
Chaudhry Shujaat, whose party is a coalition partner of the PPP, fully supported Premier Gilani during an informal chat with journalists in Lahore on Saturday.
The PML-Q president said the PPP would file an appeal against the Supreme Court’s verdict – and a final decision on Gilani keeping or not keeping his office would be taken thereafter.
He also lashed out at his bitter rivals – the Sharif brothers of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz – saying that Nawaz should be convicted of contempt of court for attacking and humiliating the apex court.
He said people have not forgotten the 1997 attack on the Supreme Court by PML-N supporters when even the nameplates of judges were torn down and trampled on.
Chaudhry Shujaat said the PML-N leadership was reading too much into the apex court verdict. The court, he claimed, has not charged the premier with corruption or embezzlement. “Nawaz Sharif should not use the judiciary’s name for political purposes,” he added.
He alleged that the PML-N chief has a habit of instigating confrontations between national institutions and wants to exploit this opportunity for political gains.
Replying to a question about the possibility of snap elections, the PML-Q chief said parliamentary elections should be held as per schedule.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 29th, 2012.