ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has called for compiling a list of bureaucrats still serving in various departments who benefited from the now defunct National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO). However, it remains to be seen whether the government plans to sack them or ask them to face cases instituted against them.
According to a handout, Gilani has asked the Establishment Division to submit the list within two days.
Last year, the Supreme Court ruled against the controversial graft law introduced by former president Pervez Musharraf in 2007 under a political deal with slain chairperson of PPP Benazir Bhutto.
Graft cases against several hundred top bureaucrats and politicians were dropped under the law. However, these cases were supposed to have been revived after the apex court declared the NRO “unconstitutional”.
The move, which appears to be one of the few signs indicating compliance with court orders on the part of the government, came a day after Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry remarked that the Supreme Court rulings “are not a joke” and that the government would have to implement them.
Earlier, the prime minister had to remove one of his friends from a key post in a state-run oil and gas company just two weeks after his appointment when it was established that he was an NRO beneficiary.
Some top associates of President Asif Zardari and a few leaders of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), who were among NRO beneficiaries, are still serving on key posts.
NRO beneficiary bureaucrats include 146 officers from Punjab, 66 from Sindh, 11 from Balochistan and one from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 19th, 2010.
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