A day after the Supreme Court gave the premier until July 25 to write the Swiss letter, the information minister said the government was not unwilling to comply with the apex court order – but doing so would be ‘unconstitutional’.
“I never said that the party’s stance is not to write the letter. I had said that the government would move according to what the federal cabinet decides on the issue,” Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira told journalists outside the Parliament House on Friday.
The minister was explaining the government’s position a day after the apex court ordered Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf to write to the Swiss authorities requesting them to reopen a dormant graft case against President Asif Ali Zardari.
Responding to a question, Kaira said he was misquoted by a section of the media on his statement regarding the contentious letter.
He asserted that his party respected all institutions of the country and would take all decisions in consultation with its allies and legal experts. He added that this stance should not be misconstrued as a conflict between the PPP and the judiciary.
“The government cannot accept any undemocratic behaviour in the country, and Parliament will guard the system,” he said. “The PPP has given many sacrifices for democracy and all the institutions will have to work together to strengthen it.”
Railways Minister Ghulam Ahmed Bilour told the media that the incumbent set-up was ‘in hot water’ on the implementation of the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) case – especially on paragraphs 177 and 178 which relate to writing the letter – and “undoubtedly the country is facing dire consequences” in this regard.
“If the court forces the government to write the letter [again], keeping in view its previous stance, the consequence will be definitely losing another prime minister,” he feared.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 14th, 2012.
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