LAHORE–It was hard to believe that the President Asif Ali Zardari could violate the constitution of Pakistan; the Lahore High Court Chief Justice issued these remarks while hearing a petition seeking directions to issue a show-cause notice to the President and to charge him with contempt of court for not disassociating himself from a political post.
Muhammad Azhar Siddique Advocate filed the contempt petition and submitted Zardari had not disassociated himself from the political office of co-chairman of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) as soon as possible as was expected following a ruling given by the High Court in May last year on the issue of the President’s dual offices. “It is evident that the president hasn’t left his political post. However, it is not clear whether he holds his party meetings at the Presidency or not,” Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial observed.
He further observed that implementation of court orders was the responsibility of administration. The president was expected to respect the court’s verdict and didn’t challenge it, the chief justice remarked adding the court expected that the President do away with his dual role, but did not order the president to do so. “Therefore, the question of contempt of court doesn’t arise as such,” the chief justice said and adjourned the hearing till June 19 asking the petitioner to assist the court on the maintainability of the petition.
The petitioner contended that the direction issued by the High Court had not been obeyed and the President had not stopped “misusing” the presidency for the activities of the PPP. He pleaded the President had also called National Assembly Speaker Fehmida Mirza and greeted her for giving a ruling in favour of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani after he was convicted of contempt by the Supreme Court for refusing to revive graft cases against Zardari. He claimed this action said a lot about the bias of the president.