In quite an unprecedented move, the Supreme Court has warned that Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf could face consequences if he failed to appear before the Supreme Court on August 27.
The court, however, promised to accommodate the premier if he appears on the given date with a positive statement regarding its order in the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) implementation case.
A five-judge bench of the apex court with Justice Asif Saeed Khosa in the chair resumed hearing of petition filed by the federation requesting a review of the court’s July 12 verdict.
It is vital to mention here that the court had issued directives to the prime minister to write a letter to Swiss authorities for reopening graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.
In what appeared to be a rare development, Federal Law Minister Farooq H Naek himself appeared before the court, seeking more time in order for the governments to form a strategy regarding writing a letter to the Swiss authorities.
However, the bench dismissed the request to postpone the hearing of the NRO implementation case, arguing it would only be possible if the prime minister gave a positive answer on the given date.
Justice Khosa in the course of hearing observed, “If the gentleman whom we have issued notice to, and whom we have great respect for due to his office, appears and makes a positive statement, we will certainly accommodate him; and if he fails to do so, then the law will take its course”.
He was of the opinion that there will be no problem if the premier utters merely two simple positive words during his appearance.
He remarked, “We have only issued direction in paragraph 178 (of the NRO judgment) and stated that the status of Pakistan as damaged civil party be revived, we did not add anything, we did not mention the president or the prosecution”.
Upon which, Farooq H Naek informed the bench that the government doesn’t want to drag the matter, saying that a decision couldn’t be taken by single handedly.
He asserted, “I am very confident that if this case is adjourned till the first week of September, something very positive will come out of it”. He further said that they want to appear before the court with some understanding.