Former President of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) and senior leader of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Senator Aitzaz Ahsan said on Tuesday that the government will not opt for any middle way but the court can choose to do so.
While talking to the reporters at the Supreme Court building, Aitzaz Ahsan said that Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf would meet the same fate as former Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani if he opted not to write the letter to the Swiss authorities. The former PM was disqualified from premiership as well as the National Assembly membership this June.
Aitzaz said there was no middle path in connection with the Swiss letter as the seven judges of the original bench had not given any flexibility of options and thus the five-member implementation bench couldn’t find a new pathway. “A new premier will come if the incumbent one is sent packing. And the same string of events will continue till March 2013.”
Aitzaz Ahsan, reaffirmed his stance that there was no precedent whereby a state produced its president to the court of another state; hence, the apex court, of its own accord, should give a second thought to its verdict in this regard.
Terming it a welcome development that Pervaiz Ashraf was given a 22-day breathing space in the NRO implementation case, Aitzaz underscored that the court had not manifested such magnanimity when he was arguing during the contempt proceedings against Gilani. “The court may have realised that the Gilani verdict was delivered in haste.
Replying to a query, Aitzaz said President Asif Ali Zardari enjoyed immunity not as a person but as an incumbent president, and the court was bound to respect this immunity.
“I am quite satisfied with the reinstatement of the independent judiciary as a result of the lawyers’ movement; otherwise, former president General (r) Pervez Musharraf would have been sitting as a uniformed president even today,” he remarked.
Seeing no imminent threat of Parliament’s dissolution, he asserted that it is only the premier who could advice the president. “Raja Ashraf did not approach me to plead his case as I have already lost the case once,” Aitzaz said, meekly urging the premier to hire a counsel.
Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan it would be problematic for the government to write a letter to foreign authorities against the President.
He said that the possibility of reaching a middle ground lay in the option that the court accepts that a letter to reopen cases against President Asif Ali Zardari is written when he is no longer the country’s president.
Ahsan said “both parties were adamant over their respective points of view” and that one of them would have to “give in eventually”.
The PPP leader said that the court could make mistakes and that it had the authority to review its rulings.
He said that if writing the letter was not an issue, then not writing it should not be a problem either.
The Supreme Court should also create the possibility of an alternative, Ahsan said, adding that, the court was independent in its decisions.