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Updated: February 13, 2012 00:47 IST

Optimistic Gilani set to appear before court

Anita Joshua
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Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani will appear before Supreme Court on Monday to face contempt charges. File photo
Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani will appear before Supreme Court on Monday to face contempt charges. File photo

Ahead of his appearance before the Supreme Court on Monday to be charged with contempt, Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani remained optimistic maintaining that he may not be imprisoned as is being visualised.

In an interview to Al-Jazeera, Mr. Gilani's reply to a question on whether he was prepared to go back to prison was: “I don't think it will happen as you have visualised.” Asked if he would step down if convicted, the Premier said there would be no need to step down as he would be disqualified to hold the office.

Maintaining that the cases against President Asif Ali Zardari were politically motivated, Mr. Gilani said all these cases had been fought in the courts and the First Citizen had been exonerated. Also, he pointed out that as President, Mr. Zardari enjoyed immunity not just in Pakistan but trans-national.

Given the possibility of the Prime Minister being imprisoned for contempt, there was considerable speculation on who would be asked to step in though there was absolute silence on this front from government quarters.

Though old-timers of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) have reservations about the way Mr. Zardari has sidelined Bhutto clan associates to bring in his own people, they point out that the President has already spent nearly 10 years in prison for these cases. His second daughter Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari tweeted on Sunday evening: “People cry over immunity but forget my father spent 11-and-a-half years in prison without a single conviction. Jails don't scare us. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto and our current democratically elected President and Prime Minister have all been to prison and have fought in every court.''

Meanwhile, a tight security cordon has been placed around the Supreme Court in preparation of the Prime Minister's appearance.

The security arrangements were reviewed by Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Sunday and instructions given to the security organizations to ensure that the general public is not inconvenienced.

In his first appearance in this case on January 19 — on being summoned by the Court for repeatedly ignoring directives to write to Swiss authorities to reopen cases against Mr. Zardari — Mr. Gilani had driven down to the Supreme Court with his lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan besides party workers and Ministers in tow.

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'Graft Amnesty'? Hey, that's a great expression.Rather, a a convenient escape route. Our politicians will take a leaf fro Pakistan and they too would root for it. Quo Vadis Hazare?

from:  Ven Sardi
Posted on: Feb 12, 2012 at 22:39 IST

Pakistan now needs, above all, a whole new political fraternity. It's been long enough that a truly dedicated individual has enthroned the higher place who can forget and forgive and can really work for betterment of masses.

from:  Virat Arora
Posted on: Feb 12, 2012 at 22:10 IST

Pakistan is always in the troubled water as its democracy is depends on its fundamental units and military objects. They should know the importance of peoples power,they should learn how to procure the benefits of democracy, Mushraf over throw sheriff and caused blood bath with the war with india. Pakistan peoples should know the importance of lives of their lost people in war and terrorism,. Democracy should not defeated even some escape from punishment.It is true they would punished when the time comes across its force. i except the judiciary in pakistan should safeguard the democracy.

Posted on: Feb 12, 2012 at 21:26 IST

Seems like Supreme Court of Pakistan desires to establish itself as a player to be feared and respected. With a weak political leadership of a deeply unpopular government, the time is just ripe for a coup de grace to achieve its agenda. It is for the long term good of the country that the judiciary regains its respect and not bullied or browbeaten by other institutional pillars.

from:  N.G. Krishnan
Posted on: Feb 12, 2012 at 20:37 IST

Yes the coup will see to it that Pakistan will have a new leader after they get to his Swiss Bank Accounts.

from:  Todd
Posted on: Feb 12, 2012 at 19:14 IST
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