Even if convicted, Prime Minister will not seek Presidential pardon: Aitzaz Ahsan

Published: February 17, 2012
"I am hopeful that I can still persuade the Judges that the Prime Minister is not in contempt," said a smiling Ahsan. PHOTO: AFP/ FILE

"I am hopeful that I can still persuade the Judges that the Prime Minister is not in contempt," said a smiling Ahsan. PHOTO: AFP/ FILE

With some speculating that a Supreme Court verdict against the Prime Minister will see Yousaf Raza Gilani be ‘sacrificed’, Aitzaz Ahsan says they would be disappointed. All this, without Gilani seeking a Presidential pardon against his conviction.

Speaking on the Express News show with Kamran Shahid after being elected to the Senate, the Prime Minister’s chief counsel, Aitzaz Ahsan said that the “Prime Minister will not advise the President to give him a pardon if convicted.”

Ahsan explained the entire process by which the Prime Minister would be forced to relinquish his seat in the assembly, and hence the Prime Minister’s office as a result of his disqualification.

“The entire process could take months,” he said.

Ahsan explained that not all convictions result in an MNA’s disqualification. “Once the verdict comes, the case will be put before the speaker of the national assembly, where the speaker will have 30 days from the time the resolution is moved to decide whether Gilani can be disqualified due to the verdict,” he said.

Even if the Speaker declares the Prime Minister as disqualified, the matter then has to be deliberated before the election commission, which has to decide within 90 days whether this verdict disqualifies Gilani as an MNA. This too would not be the end of the road. The Prime Minister can challenge the Election commission’s ruling in the high court.

In the event the Speaker decides Gilani’s verdict does not disqualify him, a writ petition can challenge this in the high court which can then be taken up contested.

“I am hopeful that I can still persuade the Judges that the Prime Minister is not in contempt,” said a smiling Ahsan.

Writing a letter will not bring money back

The Prime Minsiter’s counsel, when asked why has a letter not been written, given it had drawn the ire of the Supreme Court, Ahsan replied that given the counsel the Prime Minister received from the Law Ministry, writing the letter would not solve the issue.

“The case was closed on merit,” Ahsan contended. He continued that writing the letter would not solve it.

“To get money out of Swiss accounts, the government would need to file a civil suit in Switzerland. However, he added that “the time bar for filing this case has passed.”

Hence, even if the government wanted, they cannot get the money in Swiss accounts back.

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Reader Comments (14)

  • Mirza
    Feb 17, 2012 - 1:42AM

    Most people know that the Swiss courts cannot try an elected head of the state. This useless exercise is based upon the big egos. If this much time, money and attention were given to solve real people’s problems the hopes of restoration of judiciary would have been fruitful not useless waste of resources. Let us focus our attention in solving the real probelms of real people and leave the political decisions to the electorate. Enough of the egos.


  • Khurram Khalid
    Feb 17, 2012 - 2:09AM

    It is not a pretty situation as PM Gilani is in ‘contempt trap’. Either he must contravene immunity clause and hence breach the constitution or face contempt.


  • Blooper!
    Feb 17, 2012 - 2:16AM

    Either this man has gone nuts or our judicial system is totally absurd!


  • AnisAqeel
    Feb 17, 2012 - 2:18AM

    Great, it certainly will strengthen democracy in Pakistan and institutions will realize where there boundaries are and next time they will stay within the boundaries. A big solid decision by the PM and the President by not bending to the principles and this shows the character.


  • Dr Waqas
    Feb 17, 2012 - 2:57AM

    So that settles it then the case is time barred.The best thing about this whole fiasco was that it shows anyone can collect illegal money become president and become constitutionally immune.Well this shows what a joke of a constitution this is


  • ALI
    Feb 17, 2012 - 3:40AM

    Gilani must be sent to jail.


  • Hasan
    Feb 17, 2012 - 3:46AM

    As a lawyer I will explain Aitzaz’s words. Although the PM may not seek the pardon, it will be offered to him and he will accept (read as forced to accept!) it nevertheless.


  • Khan
    Feb 17, 2012 - 6:09AM

    Writing a letter will not bring money back. Most people know that the Swiss courts cannot try an elected head of the state

    Why are people trying to dictate the Supreme Court instead of following its orders … Its not about What Switzerland can or can not do .. SC issued some orders which are supposed to be followed … It simply asked to write the letter .. asking for money or trying head of state has nothing to do with writing the letter. These politicians & people like AA do not respect courts or laws and then expect every one else to respect it.
    Had GoP written a letter the case would have been closed long ago and court could have given more attention to solving “real people’s problems” … It is PPP wasting time of SC not other way round.Recommend

  • HoneyBee
    Feb 17, 2012 - 7:15AM

    This whole Circus is for the entertainment of Nation . . .LOL???


  • Hasan
    Feb 17, 2012 - 7:23AM

    You know this for a fact or are you like many male, middle-aged (both in age and mentality!) Pakistani’s that appear to know everything?


  • Feb 17, 2012 - 8:00AM

    Nothing more can be better than a holistic overhaul of our judicial system. In addition, the time and money spent on this NRO case is absurd. Absurd. This time and money will be better spent to alleviate some problems, if not all, of the Sindh flood affectees.

    When the NRO case was declared ‘null ab initio,’ the judicial system should have thrown the GOP out immediately. The country cannot operate to protect and salvage the egos of persons not able to deliver the goods to the poor people and lessen their hardships.



  • Observer
    Feb 17, 2012 - 9:35AM

    In some countries Mirza would be known as the Head . . . as in Richard Head.


  • Ahmad
    Feb 17, 2012 - 10:00AM

    Everything in favour of these people is a step towards strengthening democracy and anything that goes against them is a conspiracy against democracy.
    Both our political system and our judicial system have been held hostage by these people. They know how to exploit loopholes.
    Who looses in the end? Pakistani common man….


  • Syed Imran
    Feb 17, 2012 - 10:59AM

    @ Who Is MIRZA

    An Indian citizen with a fake id always writing against the State Institutions of Pakistan and trying to influence others to get in line with his thaught process.


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