ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf has formally authorised Law Minister Farooq H Naek to write a letter to the authorities in Switzerland in accordance with a pledge made earlier to the apex court.
The premier has issued an “authority letter” to the law minister, directing him to write to the Swiss authorities in accordance with the Supreme Court orders to disown the “illegal letter” written by a former attorney general, highly credible sources told The Daily Express.
Former attorney general Malik Muhammad Qayyum had written to the Swiss authorities that the Pakistan government had dropped a dormant graft case against President Asif Ali Zardari following the promulgation of the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) by the then president Pervez Musharraf in 2007.
However, in 2010 the Supreme Court had struck down the controversial law and ordered the government to reopen all cases dropped under the NRO, including the one against President Zardari in Swiss courts.
In the “authority letter”, the premier has asked the law minister to write the Swiss letter in compliance with the apex court ruling against the NRO. The premier has also set guidelines for the minister.
According to the guidelines, the law minister will tell the Swiss authorities that the former attorney general had overstepped his authority and that the incumbent government disowns the letter he had written.
The letter calls for finding a legal way that not only assuages the federal government’s concerns but also satisfies the apex court, sources said.
Sources added that the law minister was finalising the draft of the letter which would not directly mention the constitutional immunity President Zardari enjoys at home. But at the same time, the letter would call for invoking international convention.
Sources said the letter would be presented before the apex court but not before prior approval from President Zardari. If the president endorses the move, the draft letter would be presented before the five-judge bench of the court on Tuesday.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 24th, 2012.
More in PakistanNewborn theft: Police know the suspect’s face, but little else