ISSN 2330-717X

Pakistan: Prime Minister Defends President

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The hearing of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has been adjourned until February 1. Gilani appeared Thursday before the Supreme Court in Islamabad, which blames him for not having responded to a request to reopen investigations into some cases of embezzlement and corruption in which senior politicians are involved, including Gilani himself and President Asif Ali Zardari.

Gilani said he could not open any investigation into the Zardari government, because the president is protected by immunity.

Analysts point out that if the prime minister continues to refuse to meet orders of the Court, faces a sentence that could force him to resign, thereby leading toward early elections.

The Supreme Court is ordering the government to ask the Justice Confederation to reopen an investigation into suspicious bank accounts payable to Zardari, widower of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

“Writing a letter to Switzerland is not a problem, but the president remains protected by immunity”, Gilani’s lawyer, Aitzaz Ahsan, explained.

In 2007, under the then government of General Pervez Musharraf, a secret alliance with Bhutto – then a candidate, in view of a future power-sharing after the 2008 election – was concluded.

Musharraf signed a general amnesty for the benefit of 8,000 people, including the Bhutto-Zardari couple, in case of suspected corruption.

The amnesty decree was revoked in 2009 by the Supreme Court.

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MISNA, or the Missionary International Service News Agency, provides daily news ‘from, about and for’ the 'world’s Souths', not just in the geographical sense, since December 1997.

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