Pak constitutional experts divided on fate of beneficiaries' liability under contentious NRO

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Islamabad, Nov. 23 (ANI): Constitutional experts in Pakistan have expressed divergent views on whether the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) would lose its efficacy after its expiry on November 28 or not.

Several experts had said that all the NRO beneficiaries would stand deprived of the availed benefits on November 28, and all the criminal or corruption charges against them would revive automatically.

However, retired high court judge and former attorney general, Malik Muhammad Qayyum, said the cases decided under the NRO stood as "past and closed transactions" and could not be re-opened.

Former federal law minister SM Zafar said the Supreme Court had already held that the benefits given under the NRO would be subjected to the apex court's final decision on petitions against the NRO.

"So the ultimate fate of the NRO and its beneficiaries will be decided by the apex court", he said.

Former Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) president Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan said as per the Supreme Court's verdict, the life of the NRO was until November 28, but after it was taken back from parliament, it lost its efficacy in every respect.

"It has now become history. None of them, except President Asif Ali Zardari, has constitutional immunity from prosecution," he added.

Aitzaz said President Zardari enjoyed protection from prosecution as long as he was the president, adding that no court could summon him until he left office. (ANI)

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