Zardari graft case:Pak PM advised by aides not to appear in SC

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Raja Pervez Ashraf
Lahore, Aug 9: Pakistan Premier Raja Pervez Ashraf has been advised by his aides not to appear in the Supreme Court in response to a notice summoning him for failing to act on its orders to revive graft cases against the President.

The ruling PPP believes that Ashraf's appearance in the Supreme Court will make no difference and that he is unlikely to get any relief from the judges who yesterday issued the notice to the Premier and directed him to personally appear on Aug 27, Ashraf's aides said today.

"The Premier is not a section officer that he can be summoned by the apex court every now and then. Seeing the judges' mood, we advised the Prime Minister not to appear before the apex court and to raise the dignity of Parliament," said Fawad Chaudhry, the Prime Minister's special assistant on political affairs.

Chaudhry said the Premier should save Parliament from being further ridiculed by the judiciary. "Like the judiciary, the Parliament will protect its rights as well," he said.

The apex court yesterday issued a show cause notice to Ashraf on a contempt of court charge for not acting on its repeated orders to reopen graft cases in Switzerland against President Asif Ali Zardari. Legal experts have said Ashraf faces the possibility of being dismissed like his predecessor Yousuf Raza Gilani.

The government has refused to act against Zardari, saying the President enjoys immunity within Pakistan and abroad. Chaudhry said the Supreme Court's registrar had not bothered to appear before Parliament's Public Accounts Committee and, therefore, the representative of 180 million Pakistanis should not be expected to appear before the apex court in a case in which the President had immunity under the Constitution. 

PTI

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