ISLAMABAD: While getting its short order penned down in the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) implementation case on Wednesday, the Supreme Court of Pakistan issued a show-cause notice to Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf on the charges of contempt of court, ordering him to appear personally before the court on August 27, Express News reported.
The show-cause notice has been issued to Prime Minister Ashraf under Article 204 of the Constitution.
The Supreme Court observed that Prime Minister Ashraf should comply with court’s orders and write a letter to the Swiss authorities.
The court had already issued an order when a contempt of court case was underway against former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, in which it was told to disregard the summary made by the Law Ministry and write a letter to the Swiss authorities to open graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.
The court stated that Gilani deliberately violated the court’s orders and did not write a letter, which is why he was disqualified after conducting a trial and that Ashraf was also doing the same.
Attorney General Irfan Qadir sought more time from the court and requested that the hearing be adjourned till the first week of September, given that the case is of “sensitive nature”. However, the court denied his request and said that he had already been given enough time in the case.
The court further stated that the attorney general did not bring directives of the government on July 12, explaining if the prime minister will be writing a Swiss letter or not.
Qadir maintained that he has been trying to fill the gap between institutions and that if given more time he will be able to do that.
Justice Aijaz Afzal observed that if it was intended, the time given to Qadir was enough to resolve the matter.
‘Did not expect that PM Ashraf will be summoned like this’
Speaking to the media on the premises of the Supreme Court, the attorney general said that he was not expecting that the prime minister “will be summoned like this.”
Qadir said that he has hopes that the Supreme Court will exercise restraint and added, “Institutes should exercise restraint.”
When asked if Premier Ashraf will claim immunity, he said, “No one needs to claim immunity, it is given by the Constitution itself.”
The attorney general said that he still hoped that there could be a way out where there will not be an institutional clash.
“Before adjourning the hearing Justice Asif Saeed Khosa said that he has hopes that we will find a way, according to law and the Constitution. We will make efforts to prevent a situation where institutions are in clash with each other,” he said.
Read the Supreme Court’s order here.