Gilani plays smart, but Chief Justice emerges winner in averting Pak constitutional crisis

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Islamabad, Feb.18 (ANI): Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's smart move to earn kudos for resolving what can be seen as a self-created, almost fatal, constitutional crisis, and his sincerity towards the judiciary will be on real test when NRO cases come up for hearing before the apex court, an editorial in The News says.

According to the editorial, the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, has come out a true winner after engaging the Prime Minister in two days of discussion.

While Justice Chaudhry did not utter a word on the deliberations that he had with Prime Minister Gilani, and it was Gilani who announced to the whole world that all the appointments sought by Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry were being notified.

More importantly, according to the editorial, "The prime minister said that the government holds the judiciary in high esteem and shall implement all the decisions of the higher judiciary in letter and spirit."

An official source said that the chief justice had talked to the prime minister about the non-implementation of the Supreme Court judgment on the NRO.

No official confirmation could, however, be obtained.

The editorial says that while the government is taking credit for what has transpired, it is the chief justice of Pakistan who has achieved everything that he wanted in a situation that was otherwise extremely vulnerable.

Top legal and constitutional experts are also hoping that after Wednesday's developments the government will now swiftly and sincerely implement the Supreme Court judgments, especially on the NRO.

Senior lawyer Abid Hassan Minto told The News the government had tried to pressurise the judiciary by issuing a wrong notification of judges' appointment.

Minto said the government had already implemented some parts of the NRO judgment and it looks like it will also implement the rest. However, the government still has the option to request the review on certain points. He said he could not find out conspiracy theories from this.

Former judge of the Supreme Court Nasir Aslam Zahid, who had refused to take oath under Musharraf's first PCO in 2000, while talking to The News, said Wednesday's developments is exactly in accordance with the present Constitution.

He said he did not want to speak on the issue of NRO but there is no doubt that implementation on the judgments of the Supreme Court is the most important and basic issue.

Brig Farooq said if the government would have been serious in implementation of the apex court judgement it could have started the process of moving a reference for the removal of the chairman and the prosecutor-general of the NAB which could have reached the Supreme Judicial Council.

Brig Farooq was of the view he was sure now the government will act in letter and spirit to implement the NRO judgment to ensure rule of law and the Constitution. (ANI)

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