The ruling party’s patience is running thin.
In a sign of growing frustration towards the judiciary, an overwhelming majority of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leaders has advised Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf not to appear before the Supreme Court on August 27.
A five-member bench, hearing a case of implementation of an earlier Supreme Court order on the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO), has summoned the prime minister on August 27 to explain why he failed to write a letter to Swiss authorities to reopen a graft case against President Asif Ali Zardari.
The government has already filed a review petition for that order and the hearing into the plea is scheduled for Wednesday (today).
It is still undecided whether Prime Minister Ashraf would appear before the court on August 27 or not, said adviser to the prime minister on political affairs Chaudhry Fawad.
Fawad, who is also a member of the legal team defending the government against several challenges in the Supreme Court, said that most party leaders were not in favour of sending the premier to the court.
Attorney General Irfan Qadir also spoke against the apex court summons.
“In my opinion, the court’s decision is unconstitutional and the government could ignore it,” he added. Sources say the PPP leadership feels the judiciary is going ‘too far’ in asserting its authority and powers. There are fears the court might start framing contempt charges against Premier Ashraf if he refuses to write the letter to Swiss authorities.
Earlier this year, the Supreme Court disqualified Raja’s predecessor, Yousaf Raza Gilani, for contempt of court after he kept on refusing to write the same letter.
President to decide
A party leader, on Tuesday, said the final decision on sending the premier to the top court would be taken by President Zardari after consultations with associates.
“I don’t know what will be the final decision but the mood in the party is different this time around. People are angry at the judiciary and telling the prime minister to defy its orders,” revealed the PPP official.
According to the attorney general, summoning of the prime minister by the apex court is unconstitutional and the review petition would seek the withdrawal of that directive.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 15th, 2012.
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