ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court said that if the government did not comply with its order of writing the letter to Swiss authorities by October 5, the court would be compelled to resume with contempt of court proceedings, Express News reported on Wednesday.
Law Minister Farooq H Naek resubmitted the draft of the letter to be written to Swiss authorities to the Supreme Court today.
A five-member bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa started hearing the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) case in the Supreme Court.
The law minister requested the judges for discussing the draft in the court’s chambers, upon which Justice Asif Saeed Khosa enquired whether the amendments had been made in the draft as yet.
Naek yet again requested for the draft to be discussed in the chambers which was then agreed upon by the bench.
The draft was discussed in the chambers by the judges who later summoned Naek and government’s counsel Waseem Sajjad into the chamber.
After ending consultation on the draft, the hearing was adjourned till 12pm.
In the previous hearing, after Supreme Court raised few objections over the draft of the letter to be written to the Swiss authorities, Naek – in consultation with government’s counsel Waseem Sajjad and Attorney General Irfan Qadir – made changes in the letter.
On threats and secrets
Speaking to the media after the hearing was adjourned, Naek said that since he was not the final authority on the matter, he needed to consult with Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and that was why he had requested the court for more time.
“They were very gracious and kind, and they gave me time till October 5 for any consultation that I need to do, for any advice I need to take and then, complete the letter and bring it so that this matter can end,” said the law minister.
He said that in order for the country to progress, all pillars of the state needed to have harmony and should avoid clashes so that the country can “move forward on the path of progress”.
Naek dispelled rumors of behind-closed-doors threats and said that there were no secrets, adding that it was a pressure-free decision taken by the court.
“There is no bone of contention and all their observations will be taken into consideration while resolving this matter,” he said, adding: “You will see that this will end peacefully because implementation of the court’s verdict is everyone’s duty.”
On how democracy and national security had been threatened by this matter, Naek said that everyone was aware of certain forces that wanted to derail democracy by misusing this case.
Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira told the media that summoning respondents to the chambers was a routine matter as people to be consulted need to be taken into confidence.
“This is not about trust or mistrust; it is a legal situation which requires consulting others,” he said.
The letter saga began when the Supreme Court struck down the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO), under which a number of cases against political figures were dropped – including the Swiss cases against President Zardari and his family.
Once the NRO was scrapped, the government was ordered by the court to retract the Qayyum letter written to Swiss authorities – something the government seemed adamant not to do, until it surprisingly relented last week.
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