SC asks Zardari, Musharraf, others to submit asset details in NRO case

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–Court says respondents should submit affidavits regarding their domestic and foreign properties

 

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday ordered former presidents Asif Ali Zardari, General (r) Pervez Musharraf and others to submit asset details.

A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar, was hearing the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) case in Islamabad.

The bench said that the concerned people should submit affidavits in court regarding their domestic and foreign properties.

Earlier, the apex court had issued notices to Musharraf, Asif Ali Zardari and the attorney general of Pakistan.

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

On June 6, nominating Musharraf, Asif Ali Zardari and former attorney general Malik Abdul Qayyum as respondents, petitioner Feroz Shah Gilani had requested the court to order recovery of “huge amounts of public money” misappropriated and wasted by them through unlawful means “already on record in different judgments of the Supreme Court and high court”.

He had contended that Musharraf subverted the Constitution by declaring emergency followed by the promulgation of the NRO, through which criminal and corruption cases against politicians, including Zardari, were ‘arbitrarily withdrawn’ causing huge financial losses to the national exchequer.

“Since the SC in its landmark judgement of December 16, 2009, had declared the NRO void ab initio, the respondents are liable to compensate the losses and the damage suffered by the exchequer of debt-ridden Pakistan, including the loss of $60 million stashed in Swiss banks allegedly by Zardari,” he had said.

He had said Malik Qayyum had written a letter to the attorney general for Geneva to withdraw criminal and civil proceedings against Zardari, but the Supreme Court in its 2009 judgment held that Qayyum had written the letter in his personal capacity, against the Rules of Business, 1973.

“The actions of Musharraf and Qayyum by promulgating the NRO caused huge losses amounting to billions of rupees to debt-ridden Pakistan. Both willfully violated the oath of office to the detriment of the country in violation of the rule of the law, particularly of Articles 2, 2A, 25, 227 of the Constitution,” the petition had alleged.