Pakistan’s Supreme Court has listed a graft as well as a criminal case against President Asif Ali Zardari for hearing on November 16 and 17.
Both cases, titled ‘Asif Ali Zardari vs the state’, have been added to the apex court’s ‘Cause List’ and will be taken up by a two-member bench.
Notices have been issued to lawyers, including Mehr Khan Malik and Deputy Attorney General Chaudhry Akhtar Ali in connection with these cases.
A statement issued by the apex court today, however, clarified that the two cases involving Zardari pertained to 1998-99 and were included in the ‘Cause List’ that was prepared in August. “Out of these matters, one relates to the transfer of a case from one court to another while the other case was filed against the order of the High Court of Sindh, Karachi in which the learned High Court was pleased to release the property of the appellant declared before income tax authorities but restrained to dispose of the same,” it said.
These cases “were proposed in routine, being old cases relating to the year 1998-99” and should not cause “any misunderstanding”, the apex court said without giving details.
The Pakistani Government only recently decided to drop its plan to seek parliamentary ratification of a controversial law that granted him immunity in graft cases. The new development is bound to put the Pakistani president under further duress.