The Lahore High Court (LHC) has issued a notice to President Asif Ali Zardari on Friday for holding two offices in violation of its earlier order.
On May 12, last year, a full bench of the LHC had ruled that Asif Zardari could not continue as Co-chairman of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) while sitting in the Presidency.
The bench had asked him to step down as co-chairman of the PPP or stop using the presidency for politicking.
“The use of the Presidency for political activity is inconsistent with its sanctity, dignity, neutrality and independence. Therefore, it is expected that the President of Pakistan would cease the use of the premises of presidency for political meetings of his party,” the bench stated in its order.
Advocate Muhammad Azhar Siddique had filed a petition in the LHC requesting the court to issue a contempt of court notice to Zardari for non-compliance with the court order.
The petitioner said Zardari has neither stepped down from the office of PPP co-chairman, nor has he stopped using the presidency for political activities.
On Friday, the petitioner’s counsel AK Dogar asked the court to summon the president to explain his position.
LHC Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial issued a notice to the president’s principal secretary, saying the court will decide its future course of action once the latter filed a reply.
Justice Bandial directed AK Dogar to not repeat his demand for summoning Zardari, saying the court would only do so if required.
Justice Bandial also directed that a larger bench be constituted for the case from the next hearing onwards since the petition had raised important legal and constitutional issues.
The court will take up the matter on June 27.
Published In The Express Tribune, June 23rd, 2012.