The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Wednesday cleared the draft of the letter to be sent by the federal government to Swiss authorities seeking withdrawal of a request in 2007 to close graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.

The government has now been given four weeks to dispatch the letter that has been a bone of contention between the executive and the judiciary since 2009 following the annulment of the National Reconciliation Ordinance — an amnesty law, on the promulgation of which the cases against Mr. Zardari were dropped.

For nearly a month now, the government and the court have been working on a mutually acceptable draft of the letter after Prime Minister Raja Parvez Ashraf gave an undertaking to withdraw the request sent by the then Attorney-General Malik Qayyum in 2007. Though the contents of the letter have remained a secret till date — much of the deliberations on this were held in the judge’s chambers — the point of contention apparently revolved around mention of presidential immunity in it. The court observed that for the first time an honest attempt had been made by the government to write the letter.

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