The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought details of assets of former presidents Pervez Musharraf and Asif Ali Zardari while hearing a case regarding recovery of losses incurred because of the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO).

Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar also ordered former attorney general Malik Qayyum to provide details of his assets. The court ordered that all respondents should declare their properties held abroad as well as foreign accounts and any offshore companies they own in affidavits submitted to the court.

The three-member bench — comprising the chief justice, Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Ijazul Ahsan — was hearing a petition moved by the president of Lawyers Foundation for Justice, Advocate Feroz Shah Gilani, for the recovery of losses Pakistan had incurred after the promulgation of the NRO.

"I have a thousand people in mind who we have to get all [assets] details from," the chief justice remarked during today's hearing.

The NRO was promulgated in Oct 2007 by the government of the then president Musharraf. Under the ordinance, cases against politicians were removed, paving the way for many of their return to country.

The chief justice also asked the respondents to submit details of assets held by their family members.

When asked when Zardari and Qayyum would submit their asset details, Farooq H. Naek, who was reportedly among the drafters of the NRO, responded that the PPP leader has already submitted his reply.

The court gave Musharraf two weeks to submit his reply in the case.

The chief justice remarked that respondents should take the apex court into confidence as to whether they have assets abroad. "What is the issue in taking the Supreme Court into confidence?"

Those who think they will not be caught will be found and apprehended, warned the top judge, adding that a lot of work still needs to be done. "We need to root out corruption and create dams."

Justice Nisar also said that a lot of people were benefiting from the ongoing amnesty scheme but was reminded by Naek that it was not applicable to politicians.

Qayyum and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) also submitted their replies in the court today.

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