Swiss letter standoff nothing but battle of egos between Pak Govt. and judiciary: Analysts

Last Updated: Tue, Aug 28, 2012 12:00 hrs

The tussle between the Pakistan Peoples Party-led government and the judiciary regarding the NRO implementation case, where the prime minister has been asked to write to Swiss authorities asking to reopen graft cases against the president, has generated mixed opinions from analysts in the country.

The Supreme Court on Monday, accepted Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf's request, and granted time to him by adjourning the hearing till September 18 in the NRO implementation case, prolonging the case even further. Ashraf had requested the apex court that he required at least four to six weeks in order to consult his legal team to resolve the issue.

"People are getting sick and tired of this deadlock. There is rule of law on one side, and the government on the other. This case is becoming an unwanted guest in the minds of everyone," the Christian Science Monitor quoted Fahd Husain, a noted columnist and news show host, as saying.

While some observers accuse the court of deliberately undermining the democratically elected PPP, others say that the court is following through on its constitutional responsibility. Most, however, think the tussle indicates personal vendettas rather than principled stances, the paper said.

Mehreen Zahra Malik, editor and columnist at The News, a Pakistani daily, said that people are starting to see this as just a battle of egos now.

"The court thinks that if it can make the most powerful man, the president of the country, bend to law, Pakistan will establish itself as a country where rule of law prevails. But this top-to-bottom approach is weakening rule of law, because there are so many other issues, like energy crisis, militancy, etc., in Pakistan that need to be addressed which affect common people, and they are being ignored, leading to public disillusionment," Malik said.

Legal experts, on the other hand, feel that the decision to give more time to Ashraf was a reasonable one.

"The judiciary had boxed itself in a corner. The court has to have a spotless reputation, which it does not anymore," said Feisal Naqvi, a lawyer at the Supreme Court, who regularly writes for different newspapers.

Naqvi said the current deadlock between the two institutions in the country has been skillfully played to the advantage of the government. (ANI)

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