Lingering conundrum: Govt to place another draft of Swiss letter before irked SC today

Kaira says govt wants to settle matter to the ‘satisfaction of SC’.


Our Correspondent October 04, 2012

ISLAMABAD:


Third time’s a charm – at least that’s what the government would hope for in today’s key hearing of the NRO implementation case during which it plans to present an amended draft of the contentious Swiss letter to the Supreme Court.


Law Minister Farooq Naek has already presented two drafts to a five-member Supreme Court bench – both of which were rejected by the judges because it didn’t comply with court orders.

Sources claimed that in case the court accepts the latest draft, the law minister will seek one month time to dispatch the actual letter.

Last month, a breakthrough on the long-standing issue was seemingly achieved when the government agreed to write the letter to Swiss authorities regarding graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari. However, the Supreme Court twice rejected the drafts as unsatisfactory, giving Naek till October 5 (today) to get the draft right – or risk the restarting of proceedings against the prime minister.

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira on the eve of the key hearing said that following orders of the Supreme Court, the government would present an amended draft of the letter.

Briefing the media at Parliament House on Thursday, Kaira said that the government was “very sincere” in settling the matter to the satisfaction of the Supreme Court.

When asked about the government’s strategy for the NRO hearing today, Kaira said that the law minister would share the government’s viewpoint with the media as it was a legal matter.

During the NRO proceedings on September 26, the apex court asked the law minister why the letter had not been drafted keeping in view para 178 of the NRO judgment, which clearly mentioned the revival of graft cases against President Zardari.

The draft letters are so far reported to have said that Swiss authorities are not required to take any further action on the cases.

Referring to para 178 of NRO judgment, Naek had said “we want a win-win situation, both for the court and the government.” However, Justice Ejaz Afzal expressed the bench’s discontent with Naek’s words – contending that there is no concept of compromise or a ‘win-win situation’ at the helm of justice. Agencies

Published in The Express Tribune, October 5th, 2012.

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