Corruption cases against President Zardari set to reopen


LAHORE: Over 100 corruption and criminal cases involving important Pakistani politicians including President Asif Zardari, which had been settled earlier under a controversial presidential ordinance promulgated by Musharraf in February 2008, would automatically reopen on November 28, thus creating more problems for an already embattled Pakistani President.

Not only President Asif Ali Zardari but most of his confidants and top political and bureaucratic aides had benefited from the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) which President General Pervez Musharraf had promulgated before the 2008 general elections on February 2, 2008 to allow many top politicians to take part in the elections. However, the recent decision of Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani under the opposition parties’ pressure not to enact the NRO with effect from February 2, 2008, would automatically reopen all the cases which had been settled after that date as per a recent decision by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

After a high level meeting of the ruling alliance at the Presidency on November 4, 2009, the PPP government decided not to bring the ever-controversial National Reconciliation Ordinance to the parliament for a vote. This is clearly a reversal on the part of the government but one which could have been avoided had the ruling party consulted its allies beforehand. It is quite apparent that the NRO as a bill was brought to the relevant committee of the National Assembly without even making sure that all the numbers needed were in hand.

According to analysts, the withdrawal will not put an end to the dangers that the NRO represented to the map of power brought about by the 2008 elections. After the debacle caused by an aggressive withdrawal of the PPP’s major allied party Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) from the pro-NRO consensus, the next crisis in the offing is the march of the opposition to a no-confidence vote. The Sharif-led PML-N, whose chief had threatened to start a Long March against the NRO, is no longer averse to the thought of a mid-term change, whether through a new general election or through the ‘minus-one’ formula under a ‘national government’, possibly with Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani in the driving seat.

On March 5, 2008, five cases (ref Nos 14/2001, 6/2000, 13/2001, 41/2001 and 23/2000) against President Asif Ali Zardari were closed down. These cases ware about assets beyond known source of income, illegal construction of a polo ground at the Prim e Minister’s House and loss of national exchequer, alleged corruption and corrupt practices in the Green Tractor scheme, corruption and corrupt practices in the SGS case and corruption and corrupt practices in the ARY Gold case. Between 1988 and 1996, Zardari played a key if often behind the scenes role during the premiership of Benazir Bhutto; and became a victim of an alleged revenge campaign during Nawaz Sharif’s stay in Islamabad as Premier. Zardari served as a Member of the National Assembly twice (1990-1993 and 1993-1996) and was appointed the Federal Minister for Environment as well as Minister for Investment during that period. But many political analysts saw him as a liability for his wife, and the PPP.

Zardari has spent almost 11 years in prison for charges ranging from corruption to murder, in spite of not being convicted in any of them. And all these cases were eventually withdrawn in February 2008 under the NRO, thus paving way for him to become the Pakistani President in place of Musharraf.

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14 years ago

Corruption cases against President Zardari set to reopen
Do not forget, people of Pakistan do not get to chose president.

It is just few politicians who get to chose president according to our ill political system.

Now, he should leave the Pakistan himself ASAP.

Fazal Hussain
Fazal Hussain
14 years ago

Corruption cases against President Zardari set to reopen
When people know that zardari is worldwide known as 10% person again our elected MPA/MNA elected him as president of Pakistan is shame to all of them.

Few people putting Pakistan backward and one day they all have to repend. Insha Allah


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