LAHORE - As the former president of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari is appearing before an accountability court on Thursday (today), the PPP leadership is giving a positive spin to the whole affair.
It is using the occasion to establish the point that if politicians could show respect for the judiciary why the ex-generals could not do the same.
It is an interesting coincidence that an ex-army chief (Pervez Musharraf) and a former president (Asif Ali Zardari) have been summoned by the courts at the same time, though the nature of allegations is different altogether. The former is facing trial under treason charges; while the latter is required to appear before the court for his alleged involvement in polo ground case.
The former president is appearing before the court today though he did not on two previous hearings. He was then represented by his lawyer Farooq H Naik.
The PPP; however, has decided to use this occasion to prove that it is always the politicians who hold the judiciary in high esteem and not the generals.
“Why General Musharraf is avoiding to face the court under the pretext of illness,” said PPP’s Secretary General Sardar Latif Khosa while talking to The Nation. He stressed that Pervez Musharraf should show respect for country’s judiciary and face the charges like the former prime ministers and cabinet ministers.
“Two sitting prime ministers of PPP, Yousuf Raza Gilani and Raja Pervaiz Ashraf have already set a precedent by appearing before the court. Now, former President Asif Ali Zardari is doing the same on Thursday (today)”, Khosa observed.
He lamented that ex-generals had always been shying away from appearing before the judiciary when it came to proving their innocence in different cases instituted against them.
“Is it mandatory only for the politicians to face the courts,” he questioned.
The PPP leader further said that this was not the first time that Asif Ali Zardari had offered himself for judicial scrutiny.
Before this, he had faced the courts for over nine years and also served imprisonment during the period without actually being sentenced to jail by any court of law. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was also made to appear before the court and underwent imprisonment after being overthrown illegally in 1999, he added to establish his point.