'I will follow orders of the President, not PM'

Published: September 7, 2010
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PM upholds the Supreme Court's decision to remove top official.

PM upholds the Supreme Court's decision to remove top official.

ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Prosecutor General Irfan Qadir remains defiant despite the prime minister’s order to uphold the Supreme Court’s decision to remove him.

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has ordered the withdrawal of privileges to NAB Prosecutor General Irfan Qadir a day after his outburst in the Supreme Court that he will not step down.

The PM has said that Supreme Court orders will be implemented in letter and spirit and that he has issued orders to law secretary for implementation immediately.

Irfan Qadir continues with his duties despite the PM’s order, and has said that NAB does not fall under the Law Ministry.

“I will not leave office until written orders are handed over,” he said on Tuesday, asserting that he is only bound by orders issued by the President.

Updated from print edition (below)

Top NAB law officer defiant

A collision between the two top institutions – ‘the judiciary and the executive’–seems to be imminent as Prosecutor General (PG) National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Irfan Qadir says he will hold on to his office despite the fact that his appointment was declared ‘illegal’ by the apex court.

“President Asif Ali Zardari asked me to carry on his work and I will continue my job with full command,” Qadir told The Express Tribune. He added that it is not possible for him to leave the office until the presidency issues a notification of termination as the PG NAB.

On September 1, a three-member judge bench of the apex court declared the services of the NAB prosecutor general as “void ab intio” – a legal term used for unlawful act on grounds that his three-year contract had expired. The court also ruled that any extension in service would be against the rules, stating, “Mr Qadir must cease his official services.”

“I have not received any notification from any institution as yet,” he said. Qadir added that he held a meeting with NAB prosecutors assigning them different cases to accelerate the trial of the reopened NRO cases following the Supreme Court’s order.

“The president is my appointing authority and only he can de-notify the contract,” he said.

Advocate-General Punjab, Ahmad Harris Khawaja, said, “I believe any person who acknowledges Irfan Qadir as prosecutor general is in defiance of the Supreme Court order to cease him from office.”

He explained that the Section 8 clause (A) of the NAB Ordinance 1999 says that the PG shall hold office for a non-extendable period of three years, and Qadir had completed his period from 20003 to 2006.

Meanwhile, sources in the ministry of law told The Express Tribune that Law Secretary, Muhammad Masood Chishti, notified Law Minister Dr Babar Awan to remove Qadir. However, Awan said that, “I myself will take any decision pertaining to the issuance of any notice of the removal of PG NAB.”

Chishti said that the ministry has never issued any such notice to stop the PG NAB from holding his office. However, further action will be taken as the presidency has directed the ministry to regard the implementation of the court’s verdict, he explained.

Presidential spokesperson, Farhatullah Babar denied any direction on the part of the presidency. “Contrary to media reports the presidency has not asked him to continue his office. Mr Qadir has been ordered to be removed by the Supreme Court.”

Meanwhile, a top legal mind told The Express Tribune, on condition of anonymity, that Qadir’s statement is itself a contempt of court and “a mockery of the apex court’s order.”

The proceedings should be conducted under Article 204 of the Supreme Court which suggests rules for those who committed contempt of court, he explained.

Former law minister SM Zaffar feared that the government and the judiciary are once again are on the way to confrontation. “The government apparently has had a change of heart on the issue in the subsequent days and appears inclined to challenge the top court’s verdicts.”

Justice (Retd) Wajihuddin Ahmad also termed the decision of the presidency as another attempt to undermine the apex court. “There is no hindrance in the implementation of the superior courts’ verdicts. The Court must proceed against Qadir on charges of contempt.”

Earlier, Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq told The Express Tribune that due to quick changes in NAB officials, “the fate of NRO cases reopening hangs in balance.”

Published in The Express Tribune, September 7th, 2010.

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Reader Comments (23)

  • Amanat ali
    Sep 7, 2010 - 1:08PM

    what a nose sence man Qadir. He should shame on himself he is the man who got a huge money as Bribe from Haris Steel case. He is a corrupt person his appointment was also a bad order but the Govt is also bad. He should be help under contempt of court case and sent to jail for six month. SC should do this. Recommend

  • saad
    Sep 7, 2010 - 1:17PM

    wow! the missing persons are still missing! sugar price couldn’t be fixed! the killers of the sialkot bros have yet to be hanged! and now this!! but, the apex court’s decision of banning indian channels is immediately carried out!! amazing and at the same time pathetic! Recommend

  • Sultan Ahmed.
    Sep 7, 2010 - 1:30PM

    Every one living in the country
    must respect the apex court’s orders
    because judiciary is a balance wheel of whole system
    it put every thing on the track by explaining laws and constitution.

    As for as executive is concerned regarding the order of the apex court
    they should remove the prosecutor general of the (NAB) as soon as they may
    by releasing a written order.

    Any one, or any institution,who deliberately undermine the judiciary
    in fact undermine the whole system that is against the stability of
    country/state.Recommend

  • Shahryar Ahmed
    Sep 7, 2010 - 2:16PM

    Is this a priority for Pakistan?

    I guess this is a priority for a few judges, the lawyers & master of all the Sharif’s. That’s why so much time & energy is being wasted on this futile matter.

    This has been the case since the so called judicial movement (funded by Sharif’s).

    Time to get rid of all these people, opposition, government, president, a media mogul, few journalist/TV talk show host (again funded by Sharif’s), judges & lawyers (a few).

    A time for Revolution!!!!!!!!!!!!Recommend

  • Nadeem
    Sep 7, 2010 - 2:42PM

    The SC issued the decision not because Irfan was a corrupt person, but because he was a PCO judge and is/was in the “other-side lobby” of the judges. This is, ofcourse, a decision based on personal likes and dislikes.
    We cannot move towards any progress unless our government is given a stable environment to work. Accountability should be done but accountability does not mean personal revenge. Najam Sethi takes the biased court dicisions very rightly.
    I could not understand how SC says Irfan’s appointment as illegal. SC constructs its decision on NAB rules that a Prosecutor’s services cannot be extended. But infact Irfan didi not get extension in his service. He served NAB for his first term of 3 years, then he quited (according to NAB rules) and then he joined again for a new 3 years period. How can this new appointment can be classified as an “Extension”????? Recommend

  • Isfand
    Sep 7, 2010 - 3:03PM

    Why the President is above the Supreme Court?
    In a true democratic country nobody is above the law!!Recommend

  • Truthful Mole
    Sep 7, 2010 - 4:01PM

    Shame on you General Irfan Qadir! But I guess you don’t care since “shame” has been deleted from our leadership’s vocabulary.Recommend

  • Basharat
    Sep 7, 2010 - 4:15PM

    Shame shame shame…Recommend

  • shahzad khan
    Sep 7, 2010 - 9:07PM

    Atleast some one is bold enough to stand infront of (So Called) Azad Adlia. Stance of Irfan Qadir is correct & legal. How can a fresh appointment after a period of 4 years be interpreted as extension. Well such verdicts are common like declaring PCO oath of 1999 as Halal & that of 2007 as Haram. Media is supporting such hypocratic Judiciary.Recommend

  • Usman
    Sep 7, 2010 - 9:52PM

    Well, at least this episode clearly exposed who is the real boss in Pakistan – Zardari and not Gilani. So much so for the talk of ‘supremacy of parliament’ and Gilani being the ‘chief executive of Pakistan.‘ So if Gilani is the chief executive, as was claimed earlier to justify Zardari’s absence from Pakistan, then how come Qadir has the audacity to defy his orders? It is time that the ruling party clarify as to who is the real chief executive.
    Also Qadir states that “President Asif Ali Zardari asked me to carry on his work and I will continue my job with full command.” Can he (Qadir) please elaborate on what he means by “his work”? Does this work include conveniently erasing all incriminating proofs pointing to Zardari’s corruption and dismissing all cases related to him? Nonetheless, I have never seen such emphasis on carrying on their jobs by any other ruling party officials. Therefore, Qadir definitely deserves a pat on his back for his steadfastness on carrying his mission. Such hardworking public servants are hard to come by these days.
    Lastly, this episode reinforces the belief that that Zardari’s orders are more valuable and superior than those issued by any court including the Supreme Court. The last time we saw someone else bypassing the courts was when Zardari instantly ‘pardoned’ Rehman Malik for a crime that allegedly he did not commit!Recommend

  • basharat
    Sep 7, 2010 - 9:52PM

    The stance taken by Mr Irfan Qadir sounds legally correct. Mr Irfan can conitnue in service till his reliever takes charge from him. May be that the Government intends to file a review petition. All organs of the State, people wish, avoide trespassing into the domains of others.There had been instances when the Constitution had been seriously violated; it seems the practice has not ceased.Recommend

  • Khadija Masood
    Sep 8, 2010 - 12:27AM

    Such blatant disregard of the law, shameful!Recommend

  • Mussarat Hussain
    Sep 8, 2010 - 6:27AM

    Does His Highness, Excellency and Revered Prosecutor General of ‘NEVER’ Accountability Bureau Irfan Qadir, (AL) wants, President Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Mr. Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister of Pakistan Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani, Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and finally The Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kiani, to personally visit to deliver him letter to relinquish charge of the office and later physically throw him out of the window ?.

    It would be a unique occasion in the Cherished Administrative History of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan for which Private Channels are anxiously waiting to shoot.

    Please note AL stands for “Above the Law.”

    Mussarat Hussain
    Journalist
    Washington DCRecommend

  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Sep 8, 2010 - 9:16AM

    There were some exchange of hot words between Mr. Irfan Qadir and some Judges who speak most during the hearing of all important case now in the Supreme Court. We know how most of the high officials are drubbed and some even land in hospitals due to the insulting behavior of Senior Judges. It is true that Mr. Irfan Qadir must go and in this context the PM has already issued some instructions and the Presidency has no role to play because the Power is in PM’s hands. It is strange that both print and electronic is trying to create rift as usual being witnessed from day one. One month time has been given by the Supreme Court so why this hala gula is being created by the media. Some media houses and their anchor persons are badly being exposed as dustbins where it is written “Use Me”. Shame on those who are not properly educating the viewers on this issue and other issues of importance. They are rather playing with the destiny of the country for the sake of fat purses which they get from those forces who do not want stability at any cost.Recommend

  • imran
    Sep 8, 2010 - 10:47AM

    This is open anarchy aided by no one else then the President himself. Mr.Qadir dare not stand judiciary verdict if he doesnt have support. Chief Justice must move on this otherwise Judiciary will lose its standing and this will serve as a precursor for the future.

    CHIEF JUSTICE PLEASE TAKE ACTION Recommend

  • A. Waheed
    Sep 8, 2010 - 11:02AM

    Shame on Zardari, Shame on Gilani Shame on PPP and on Irfan QadirRecommend

  • ASMAT JAMAL
    Sep 8, 2010 - 1:01PM

    mr qadir stands at a point where courage and bravery falls in the realm of stupidityRecommend

  • Basharat
    Sep 8, 2010 - 2:04PM

    I would like to ask Mr Shahzad,
    Why didn’t you just go and put your nose to defend “Mr. None sense” Irfan Qadir. You would be a better advocate I think, to defend him as well as his master, you know whom. Attorny Generals are just waistful people…Recommend

  • Anonymous
    Sep 8, 2010 - 6:20PM

    Qadir is right and Supreme court is wrong. Please go through the judgment. It is absolutely illegal and based on bias.Recommend

  • shahzad khan
    Sep 8, 2010 - 10:02PM

    Thanks Mr. Basharat for your query. There is no point of defending any one against a biased Judiciary which belives in taking up cases which makes head lines. As rightly said by Mr. Ali Ahmad Qurd that this Judiciary makes judgments on what media is highlighting. Full court is hearing 18th amendment case for 3 months & common people are suffering just because CJ will not be sole authority to appoint judges. I belive now nation should think on whats happening rather then believing on what this Nawaz funded media is portraying.Recommend

  • mussarat
    Sep 8, 2010 - 11:21PM

    Sorry to say if Qadir is right then Zardari is also not wrong.

    After all he is an elected President.

    I know very well my pinching question bothers so many people like former Dictator Musharraf did.

    Mussarat Hussain
    USARecommend

  • Aurangzeb Akbar
    Sep 9, 2010 - 12:27AM

    Irfan Qadir is an hero because he stood up for rule of law. The Supreme Court decision is absolutely illegal. Everyone must read the decision before rendering any opinion. An honest reader would conclude that Judges are villains.Recommend

  • Nadeem
    Sep 9, 2010 - 4:40PM

    Mr Shahzad Khan is absolutely right in his comments. Mr Aurengzeb Akbar also presented logial evidence, in favour of Irfan Qadir.Recommend

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