The ruling Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) has decided to stay away from the recent fiasco involving a real estate tycoon, Malik Riaz and Arsalan Iftikhar, the son of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.

President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani issued orders to their party leaders and workings, barring them to give statements over the Arsalan Iftikhar-Malik Raiz case.

According to the media reports, President Zardari held meeting with Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah and Acting Governor Nisar Khuhro, directing all party members to refrain from commenting on the alleged corruption case involving Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry’s son Dr Arsalan Iftikhar.

However, official spokesperson for the president Farhatullah Babar was not available to confirm the remarks attributed to President Zardari.

Reports said that the president and co-chairman of the party issued directives to keep it away from any controversy arising out of the case. He was also quoted saying that the party believed at an independent and transparent judiciary.

In the meantime, Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani issued the same directives at a meeting at the Governor House.

He observed, “We hold the judiciary in high esteem. The Pakistan Peoples’ Party has played front role in the restoration of the judges and the independence of the judiciary. The party has given more sacrifices than any other political party for the cause of the judiciary”.

The premier said that he and his party could not even think of hatching conspiracy against judiciary. He noted, “How come we hatch conspiracies against the Supreme Court when we reinstate its judges”.

Earlier in the week, information was leaked to certain media outlets claiming that the chief justice’s son, Dr Arsalan Iftikhar, received millions of rupees and foreign trips as bribe from Malik Riaz in return for pledges to settle all pending cases related to Bahria Town.

As the news spread on national media, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry took a suo motu notice, and summoned his son and Malik Riaz to the apex court.

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