NRO hearing: PM Ashraf given respite till September 18

PM Ashraf had requested the Supreme Court that he required at least four to six weeks to resolve the issue.


Sidrah Moiz/web Desk August 27, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Accepting Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf's request, the Supreme Court on Monday granted time to him and adjourned the hearing till September 18 in the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) implementation case, Express News reported.

PM Ashraf had requested the Supreme Court that he required at least four to six weeks in order to consult his legal team to resolve the issue.

Prime Minister Ashraf was directed by the Supreme Court to write a letter to Swiss authorities to reopen graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.

The court earlier wanted to grant him two-week's time and adjourn the hearing till September 12, however, Ashraf informed the court that he will not be able to appear before the court that day due to his scheduled tour to China.

Heading a five-member bench, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa observed that according to Article 90 of the Constitution, the premier could exercise executive authority and task someone to implement the court's orders to write the Swiss letter.

He had earlier said that the Supreme Court can grant more time only if an encouraging commitment is provided.

Ashraf had said, "I am only a political worker not a lawyer, I need to understand the case in order to resolve it."

He had requested the court to withdraw the show-cause notice issued against him in the case and had said that it brings a bad name to the sovereignty of Pakistan.

The prime minister had said that he would be available on a "phone call" whenever the court wants to see him.

Justice Khosa had observed that appearing before the court is not respect, but complying with the court's orders is.

He had said that the issue was not as big as it was being made. PM Ashraf had said that he does not want to prolong the case, but only wants to resolve it.

The prime minister had said that the issue should be resolved in a way which does not harm the sanctity of the judiciary.

Ashraf had said that he was facing a lot of pressure as a prime minister to resolve the issue which has created a situation of ebullience in the country.

Justice Khosa had observed that Ashraf had not appeared before the court today as a defendant in the case. He had said that PM Ashraf was as respectful as any other citizen of Pakistan.

Ashraf had said that it is an honour for him to appear before the court just after he took charge as the prime minister.

Earlier, while speaking to the media, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira had said that Prime Minister ’s presence in the court today will prove all those people wrong who accuse the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) of not complying with the court’s orders.

Kaira had said that the party was expecting justice and betterment from the Supreme Court today.

He had said that the PPP has obeyed court’s orders whenever summons are issued for its prime ministers.

Replying to a question regarding delay in taking decision about PM Ashraf coming to the court, the minister had said that there was no delay in taking the decision and that the PPP believes in discussing issues with its members as it is a democratic party.

Security had been beefed up under the supervision of Interior Minister Rehman Malik within and outside the premises of the Supreme Court with Rangers, police among other Law Enforcement Agencies deployed.

Red zone was also sealed from 7am to 11am, while aerial monitoring was also being done with two helicopters.

Only those who had special passes were allowed to enter the court’s premises.

Walk-through gates had been installed on the premises of the Supreme Court. The parking lot was also vacated and all extra cars parked there were taken out.

Attorney General Irfan Qadir had said that one of the two most important elements of the state -- the prime minister -- has appeared before the court showing his respect for the judiciary.

Qadir had said that he hoped that the "judiciary also reciprocates the respect."

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COMMENTS (47)

Bloom | 8 years ago | Reply

@Mubashir:

The superior judiciary is a country’s most honourable institution

really ???

Mubashir | 8 years ago | Reply The superior judiciary is a country’s most honourable institution, the last pillar of justice and wisdom. When the SC was formulating its detailed National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) verdict implementation order, it allowed room for a middle way if differing views were to creep up between the judiciary and the executive. One of those was to let the people decide. In a situation where elections are just a few months away, providing the people with the opportunity to vote in whomsoever they wish to see at the helm of affairs seems a wise course. This is a precarious time for the development of democracy in Pakistan as it is the very first time a democratically elected government will be able to complete its term and hopefully pave the way for a peaceful transition through the ballot. In its infinite wisdom the court has already prescribed such a remedy. It would be in the best interest of all parties involved to leave affairs in the hands of the masses who have been riddled by bad politics and interventionist policies for too long. Let the matter be decided for a change in the court of the people.
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