Pakistan PM gets 3-week reprieve as apex court adjourns contempt case

PTI Islamabad | Updated on March 13, 2018

Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf today got a three-week reprieve from Pakistan’s Supreme Court in a contempt of court case after judges accepted his plea for being given more time to address the issue of reopening graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.

Ashraf today became the second premier to appear before a five-judge Bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa to face a contempt charge for refusing to revive the corruption cases against Zardari in Switzerland.

His predecessor, Yousuf Raza Gilani, was convicted of contempt and disqualified in June.

The Bench initially adjourned the case till September 12 but subsequently put it off till September 18 after Ashraf told the Bench that he would be away on an official visit to China till September 14.

The Bench further directed the premier to personally appear at the next hearing.

“Today Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf appeared on the directions of the court to defend (himself against) the show-cause notice issued to him. He explained his position, that the government has serious resolve and we want to implement the orders of the court and we need some more time,” said Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira.

“The court has adjourned the case till September 18 and the Prime Minister will appear in the court in person on September 18,” Kaira told the media after the hearing.

During the hearing, the judges repeatedly asked the premier to give a commitment about approaching the Swiss authorities to reopen the graft cases against Zardari.

The Bench said the premier should nominate a minister who could take up the matter with the Swiss authorities but Ashraf did not say anything in this regard.

Published on August 27, 2012

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