ISLAMABAD: In a reaction to the Supreme Court’s issuance of a show-cause notice to Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Pakistan People’s Party’s (PPP) coalition partner Awami National Party (ANP) said if the apex court dismissed another prime minister, it would hamper the democratic and economic process in the country, DawnNews reported on Wednesday.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Supreme Court issued a show-cause notice to the prime minister over his failure to implement its directive of writing a letter to Swiss authorities to reopen graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.
Acting President of ANP Haji Adeel said that the government has written to the Swiss authorities once, now the judiciary should opt for a middle way to solve this issue.
He claimed that the judiciary has an option to form a commission to write the ‘Swiss letter’.
Critics of the judiciary and members of PPP’s main ruling Pakistan People's Party accuse the court of over stepping its reach and waging a personal vendetta against the president.
Experts say Ashraf will be asked to explain his position on August 27.If the court is not satisfied, he risks being summoned to be indicted for contempt, precipitating the second contempt trial against a sitting prime minister in just months.
Former President of the SC Bar Association Qazi Anwer
Former President of the Supreme Court Bar Association Qazi Anwer said that the apex court did not have any option but to issue the notice to the prime minister.
He said that it was most probable that the present prime minister would face the same fate as his predecessor.
Analyst Imtiaz Gul told AFP that Wednesday's decision showed the court was refusing to back down. “The logical consequence of the court's position is the disqualification of any prime minister who refuses to write the letter,” he said.
Abdul Hafeez Pirzada
A prominent Pakistani lawyer Abdul Hafeez Pirzada said Ashraf might also be disqualified from office if he did not write the letter to Swiss authorities, but still did not expect him to do so.
''I don't think they (the government) are in a mood to write the letter,'' he said.
An advisor to the Prime Minister, Fawad Chaudhry, said Ashraf had been informed about Wednesday's court ruling, and he would consult with his political allies before making any decision. Chaudry said the court ruling could further deepen political instability as a time when the country was facing multiple challenges.
Former President of Supreme Court bar association and Chairperson of Human rights commission Pakistan (HRCP) Asma Jahangir said that she feels that there was some planning behind the SC’s hasty decision.