Pakistan government seeks to stall PM Raja Pervez Ashraf's arrest, to move Supreme Court

Last Updated: Wed, Jan 16, 2013 14:08 hrs

Islamabad: The Pakistan government plans to file a review petition against the Supreme Court order calling for the arrest of Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf and 16 others over corruption charges.

The government is considering filing a review petition against the Supreme Court order for the arrest of all 16 accused, including the prime minister, who is accused of taking kickbacks for power projects when he was power minister.

Attorney General Irfan Qadir might move the review petition today, and it is expected that he would make aggressive arguments in the petition, sources added.

Although the review would be moved against the Supreme Court's order, the sources said, it could not be decided whether it would be filed by the government or the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), the anti-corruption federal unit in Pakistan.

The government, meanwhile, denied having been informed of any arrest order against the prime minister.

"So far we have not received anything from the Supreme Court in writing. The government, the law ministry and the prime minister have not received any order from the Supreme Court," Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira told a private TV channel.

The Supreme Court in its earlier verdict in March 2012 had observed that rules and regulations were violated in the projects due to which the national exchequer witnessed losses worth billions.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik said there is a difference between an accused and a culprit, and just to remove concerns "I would say that Raja Pervez Ashraf is still a prime minister and he would continue as the same."

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