NRO letter: Nawaz throws weight behind Supreme Court

Published: February 13, 2012
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Nawaz says judiciary is unfairly being termed ‘partial’ for demanding what the Pakistani people want. PHOTO : FILE

Nawaz says judiciary is unfairly being termed ‘partial’ for demanding what the Pakistani people want. PHOTO : FILE

KARACHI: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz President Nawaz Sharif might have let the Memogate case go, but he is still fully focused on the National Reconciliation Ordinance case.

“If money belonging to the people is looted from them and stashed away in accounts in Swiss banks, will the nation not demand that this money is returned to them?” Nawaz said at a joint news conference with Mumtaz Bhutto, chairman of the Sindh National Front (SNF) Mumtaz Bhutto.

The statement comes hours after the Supreme Court framed contempt of court charges against Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, for failing to write a letter to Swiss authorities despite court instructions in the NRO case.

Talking about the letter, which has become a bone of contention between the judiciary and the government, Nawaz said that the people must be explained what the significance of this letter is. The letter, he said, should say that this money belongs to the people of Pakistan and it is their demand that this money is brought back to their country. “The money will only be brought back if this letter is written. So why is the government unwilling to write this letter and bring the money to Pakistan?”

In a clear reference to President Asif Ali Zardari, Nawaz said that nobody in the country is willing to accept that one man who has looted all this money and refuses to bring it back is allowed to go scot-free while a prime minister becomes his scapegoat. “It must be clarified to the people what the government is committed to: the country or corruption? The prime minister has also taken oath under the constitution and should be clear on which side he is on.”

Coalition partners

Responding to a question, Nawaz said that in supporting the government in its refusal to write the infamous letter, the coalition partners are behaving irresponsibly. “This move is completely against the aspirations of the Pakistani people and it is because of the allies’ support that the government feels that it can get away. The coalition parts, therefore, must reconsider what they are doing.”

Severely criticising the coalition partners, he said that their support to the government in this matter was unconstitutional and illegal. “Not only are they siding with the government, they are also accusing the judiciary of being partisan.”

Supporting the judiciary

The judiciary, he said, is being unfairly blamed for being partial. “Does the ordinary Pakistani citizen not want that this money is returned? That’s what the Supreme Court is also saying and hence asking for the letter to be written. Is it, then, saying something unjust?”

On the matter of presidential immunity, he said that the Supreme Court will better decide on the issue but in his view, immunity or no immunity, the people’s money must be returned to them. “The nation does not care about immunity. Even a person like me doesn’t understand it. It is the nation’s money, it should first be returned to its rightful owners and then we will talk about immunity.”

Dodging a question about whether the PML-N will take to the streets if the government-judiciary showdown continues, he said that the entire nation is with the judiciary on the matter. “The government is responsible and it has committed crimes, but is trying to blame the judiciary. This is unacceptable.”

Commenting on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan’s recent statements about the PML-N, Nawaz said that those who really yearn for change do not join hands people from the status quo. “He doesn’t welcome people who are responsible for where Pakistan is today. Politicians should not have double standards.”

Asked about boycotting elections, he said that the PML-N has always maintained that it will only boycott elections if the Pakistan Peoples Party does so. “I have said since the London all-parties conference that for an effective boycott, all parties must refuse to participate in polls.”

Mumtaz Bhutto meeting

Earlier, Bhutto said that in the meeting, he and Nawaz discussed what can be a new direction for an immediate change in the dismal situation of the country. “We must search and find a solution.”

He said that there is a consensus among all political parties that this government cannot be expected to hold free and fair elections, which is why the 20th amendment has been brought in the assembly. “We discussed the formation of an interim government and its mandate,” Bhutto said.

To a question of a possible alliance between his and Nawaz’s parties, he said that his party’s reach is limited to Sindh and it operates on a one-point agenda that Pakistan should become a confederation, implying that the two parties had different agendas.

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Reader Comments (20)

  • Aftab kenneth Wilson
    Feb 13, 2012 - 3:36PM

    He should try to reduce his own weight rather than throwing it behind the Super Supreme Court and his own Lahore High Court.

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  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Feb 13, 2012 - 3:41PM

    If the money will come back to Pakistan it will not benefit a common man.

    The comman man wants justice in his or her individual case, not in the case of the Government.

    Government can sustain losses, wehreas a common man cannot.

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  • Z.Khan
    Feb 13, 2012 - 3:49PM

    Why he forgets his own term when was faced with same situation. Acts speak more loudly than wrods. At least PP is showing cooperation and patience to justice. As said ” Pehlay Tolo Phir Bolo”

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  • Justice
    Feb 13, 2012 - 3:51PM

    Mian Sahib’s politics has been always behind some institution. Earlier it was military, now it is judiciary. He has done worst this time by eroding public trust on judicial system!

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  • Shirazi
    Feb 13, 2012 - 3:51PM

    Nawaz Sharif will soon realize CJ IMC is strengthening same establishment that forced him out and weakening same political class that brought him back. Miyan Saab is next in line, Mehran-gate. Let’s see if SC can indict Kiyani and Pasha on contempt of court on missing persons.

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  • Uza Syed
    Feb 13, 2012 - 3:56PM

    Yeah, it’ll be good for him to shed some of that “weight” before all that load that he carries becomes naturally useless deadweight.

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  • Malik
    Feb 13, 2012 - 4:03PM

    One shudders to think what PMLN would have done if instead of Gilani, today Nawaz Sharif had to appear before the Supreme Court in the contempt of court case. If history is any guide to go by, it wouldn’t have been peaceful!

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  • Worried
    Feb 13, 2012 - 4:08PM

    It is pot calling the other pot black, we still recall your attitude on judicary & how did you get the decision of your choice .

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  • MUMTAZ ALI
    Feb 13, 2012 - 4:12PM

    This is appropriate time to avoid the path of anti-democracy slogan – off the people, far the people and buy the people – please keep in scenario the end of Nixon Watergate Scandal Indira Gandhi decision pronounced by the Allahbad High court in 1980.

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  • Sunny
    Feb 13, 2012 - 4:42PM

    It is a losing bet Mr Sharif. Your weight is not always winning – you have lost credibility and vote bank and let opportunists (like Imran Khan) to drive in. Had you been a thinking man you could have make a difference.

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  • Anserali Khan
    Feb 13, 2012 - 5:54PM

    Now pretty soon NRO will be issued for granting immunity from probe in respect of investment made in stock exchange?.
    This country needs major change in it’s mindset

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  • sh
    Feb 13, 2012 - 6:00PM

    @sunny
    do not worry about Mr.sharif what he is losing, he knows better about himself, he is playing good role save the country.

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  • Feb 13, 2012 - 7:22PM

    Amazing and encouraging to see so many comments about the elder Mian having lost all touch with reality . This is a very positive sign and proves once again that you can fool some of the people all the time but you cannot fool all the people all the time! The Mian should realize that there is something very wrong with all the advice that he is receiving from his kitchen cabinet. Men like Mr. Jawed Hashmi, who almost single-handed kept his party afloat for almost a decade, have left him only because he saw very early that the Mians are finished in politics as they are not consistent in anything that they do. Has the PML(N) fulfilled it’s part of the Charter of Democracy in the Punjab? Has the leader of the opposition there been given the responsibilities that Chaudhry Nisar enjoys in the National Assembly? Are competent people extinct in the Punjab that the younger Mian holds more than 14 ministries? What is the attendance percentage of the Punjab Chief Minister in the Punjab Assembly? Just having the first cousin of the Chief Justice as your principal spokesman will not make people stop thinking and demanding answers. Recommend

  • Feb 13, 2012 - 7:36PM

    Mian sb’s well known habbit, hide and seek

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  • Feb 13, 2012 - 9:34PM

    Rest assured Mian Ji, Whatever they do, it will be better than what you did with the supreme court when you were in power.

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  • Farhan Gilgiti
    Feb 13, 2012 - 9:34PM

    All cases against Nawaz Sharif shall be opened.

    The Supreme Court shall open a case against Nawaz Sharif for mobilizing his ministers and supporters to physically attack the Supreme Court building and trying to strangle a sitting Chief Justice of Pakistan, while thrashing other parliamentarians.

    Who is this man to teach our nation the morality of justice and respect for law?

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  • David Smith
    Feb 13, 2012 - 10:28PM

    Just like he did with the memogate fiasco, then when it came to crunch time he ran away to london!!

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  • Salman
    Feb 14, 2012 - 4:14AM

    now he throws his weight? what about the 3 years when he was buddy buddy with zardari. was he not aware of the nro then? Nawaz is a spent force.

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  • Maryam
    Feb 14, 2012 - 4:18AM

    If a man looks like a confused soul, walks like a confused soul and quacks like a confused soul, he is a confused soul.

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  • Zulqarnain
    Feb 22, 2012 - 8:30PM

    The chief justice’s explication of the guiding judicial principle that “the courts must not act as an Opposition to the government” similarly sets another confine of the court realm. In a speech CJP said that the government had failed in its responsibility. The Opposition, obviously, also has been pronouncing the same. Thus the courts have to be more circumspect not to blur the lines as they certainly have a right to comment on the efficiency of the functionaries involved in any particular case under their consideration yet a pervasive blanket disapproval of the government at an out of court entrants event is certainly beyond their boundaries. The executive is an embodiment of the aspirations of the electorate — it has to submit to their evaluation and to command a continuous confidence of their parliament. Any certificate for their conduct and performance by the superior courts constitutes neither a condition nor a criterion for their success or failure. This evidently also restricts the courts’ incursions to curtail the executive authority such as fixing of sugar prices or the recent lightning command for a commitment not to sack the two commanders.

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