Pakistan govt readies for showdown with Supreme Court

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Asif Ali Zardari
Islamabad, Jan 16: The fate of Pakistan's beleaguered top leaders, including President Asif Ali Zardari, could be decided today when its embattled government appears before the Supreme Court, which is set to take up the memo scandal and high-profile graft cases. Ahead of the crucial hearing in Supreme Court, embattled Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani turned to Parliament for support, amid indications that the powerful military would rally behind the apex court.

The National Assembly or lower house of parliament is expected to vote today on a resolution that seeks endorsement and support for "efforts made by the political leadership for strengthening democracy" and calls for reposing "full confidence and trust" in the leadership.

Even as parliament considers the resolution, a 17-member bench of the Supreme Court will resume hearing of a case on reopening of corruption cases that were closed under the National Reconciliation Ordinance, a graft amnesty issued by former military ruler Pervez Musharraf in 2007.

A judicial commission appointed by the apex court to investigate a mysterious memo that sought US help to prevent a feared military coup in Pakistan last year will also continue its proceedings at the same time. Meanwhile, Gilani has defiantly rejected the Army's demand that he retract his criticism of the military, saying "I will not answer to any individual as I am answerable to parliament."

His remarks came in the backdrop of reports that the powerful Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani had told President Zardari to ask the Prime Minister clarify or retract his criticism of the Army and the ISI.

PTI

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