Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Tuesday disposed of two cases involving President Asif Ali Zardari after being informed that they related to matters which had already been settled.
One case pertained to the freezing of Mr. Zardari’s assets by an anti-corruption bench of the Lahore High Court in 1997. The other was related to an appeal filed by the Sindh government challenging the transfer of a criminal case from an anti-terrorist court to a sessions court.
Abu Bakkar Zardari and Mehar Malik, the counsel for the President, told the three-judge bench that the case related to the freezing of Mr. Zardari’s assets had been decided under the National Reconciliation Ordinance, which granted Mr. Zardari immunity in graft cases.
Shahadat Awan, the Prosecutor General of Sindh province, told the bench that Mr. Zardari had been acquitted in the other case, which related to the murder of former secretary Alam Baloch.
Political observers said the President’s legal woes were far from over as the fate of the NRO is yet to be decided.
The Pakistan People’s Party-led government recently had to scrap its plan to get the NRO ratified by parliament after several political parties said they would not back the move. The NRO was issued by former military ruler Pervez Musharraf in 2007 as part of an understanding with Mr. Zardari’s slain wife, former premier Benazir Bhutto.
Under an order issued by the Supreme Court in July, the NRO will expire on November 28.