ISLAMABAD: With the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) implementation case scheduled to be heard by the Supreme Court on September 18, President Asif Ali Zardari on Sunday extended an invitation to all coalition partners for a meeting intended to thrash out a unified strategy ahead of the prime minister’s scheduled court appearance.
While talking to The Express Tribune, sources revealed that the meeting would focus on seeking advice from coalition partners and would discuss the emerging scenario in case of an adverse decision against the prime minister.
The meeting is expected to be the second phase of a consultative process initiated by the president. In the first phase, an informal meeting with senior Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leaders was held at the presidency on Saturday where the issue of writing a letter to Swiss authorities was discussed in detail.
Sources revealed that possible government response on NRO implementation was also discussed with party leaders.
Prime Minister Raja Parvez Ashraf will be appearing before a five-judge bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa to inform the court about his government’s strategy regarding implementation of NRO verdict. The premier had earlier assured the court of his desire to find an agreeable solution to the deadlock after he was served with a show-cause notice for not implementing its orders on writing a letter to the Swiss authorities to reopen graft cases against President Zardari.
Monday’s scheduled meeting will be the first meeting of allies after Awami National Party (ANP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) parted ways with the ruling coalition in Sindh over promulgation of the Sindh local government ordinance.
When contacted for confirmation, Senator Haji Muhammad Adeel of ANP told The Express Tribune that ANP chief Asfandyar Wali Khan would attend Monday’s meeting and added that “it is likely that our party would be taking up the matter of the Sindh local government.”
Published in The Express Tribune, September 17th, 2012.