Immunity clause 248 was not part of this case; Yousaf Raza Gillani has brought it in; if the court rules out immunity, Zardari and Gillani both would be struck.
By Raja G Mujtaba
National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) has become the undetected cancer growth that has emerged when it was fully blown up and ready to kill. For this I was live on Aljazeera TV to offer my views. At that particular moment, the audio linkage with the studios at Doha was not at its best but I did manage to pick the question and gave my views.
The Five-Member Judicial Bench has given its verdict, where they have declared Yousaf Raza Gillani as dishonest and corrupt. The contention of Gillani that the submissions of General Kayani, the Army Chief and Lt Gen Pasha, the ISI head have been a violation and breech of the channel has also been denied by the Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq in his statement that the affidavits were forwarded to the court under his signature so no violation took place.
Prime Minister Gillani who till now had been defying the Supreme Court by not writing the letter to the Swiss Courts finally had to give in and eat a humble pie when the Supreme Court summoned him to the courts for contempt. Gillani tried to make it a big event for himself but his each step taken him deeper into the quagmire. Gillani wanted to stand in the shoes of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, who addressed the court personally that trapped him which lead him to the gallows, likewise Gillani also as most opine has sealed his fate by defending his defiance of the court.
The way he appeared in the apex court with a big entourage of courtiers, ministers and parliamentarians etc. was a show of force to intimidate the honourable judges. Has this exercise not cost the exchequer a huge amount? But who cares. He should have come like a common man following the traditions of Omar, the second caliph of Islam. Even in the West in such a situation, the people in power appear before the courts in their personal capacity.
People are questioning the performance of Aitizaz Ahsan by encouraging the Prime Minister to defend his action for not writing a letter to the Swiss Courts on the grounds that Asif Ali Zardari enjoyed immunity under article 248 of the constitution. Immunity clause 248 was not part of this case; Yousaf Raza Gillani has brought it in to defend his defiance; if the court rules out immunity, Zardari and Gillani both would be struck.
Had Mr. Gillani simply apologized before the honourable court, the issue would have been over but he would have had to give the assurance that the letter to the Swiss Court would be written. Now that during his arguments Gillani took the plea that since Asif Ali Zardari enjoyed the immunity therefore letter could not be written has dragged Zardari into the courts.
Now the immunity issue has become the main subject to be debated which most legal minds feel that cannot stand since the crimes committed were before Zardari was elected President. Moreover it is never a blanket immunity that the party and the Zardari cahoots are trying to blow loud.
Why Aitezaz Ahsan who till now had taken a stand that the letter to the Swiss Courts has to be written suddenly took a U-Turn from his stated stand? Some say that Aitezaz has lived to his reputation and did what suits his personal interests best; he is killing two birds with one stone by eliminating Asif Zardari and Yousaf Gillani from the scene so that he can become the next party head and raise his stakes to the coveted office of the Prime Minister.
It has become an open discussion that through this move, Aitezaz Ahsan is aspiring to take over the party after both Zardari and Gillani are sacked. How true this opinion maybe, only the time would tell.
On appearance in the Supreme Court he was greeted by a hostile group of lawyers who were adverse to his role in the Judiciary Movement when he suddenly changed stance and did not allow ‘dharna’ (sit-in) in front of the parliament house. Going back, his role in delivering the lists of Khalistan Movement activists to Indian government has also hit the memories.
Yousaf Raza Gillani has become very arrogant in many ways; his involvement in corruption is coming out with new dimensions every day. Memogate that has become the biggest security breach by any sitting President or Prime Minister is being defended in most obnoxious manner. The best course would have been to assist and facilitate the Judicial Commission investigating it, or even prior to that both Zardari and Gillani should have resigned from their offices but they are making all efforts to block the progress of the commission.
Mansoor Ijaz who leaked the scandal through his article in Financial Times of London is the central figure, his evidence is critical and most desired to decide the issue is being threatened and humiliated by no less a person than PM Gillani himself. Why Gillani is hiding Husain Haqqani in Prime Minister House is further confirming the complicity of Haqqani, Zardari and possibly of Gillani also.
Rahman Malik, who has many shades to his character, is making statements that are not only irresponsible but a laughing stock. All this needs to be taken cognizance of so that all those involved in this scandal are caught and punished for treason against the state.
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