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Swiss letters given to court

Pakistan's law minister Farooq Naek has submitted a draft to the Supreme Court of a letter his government has agreed to write to the Swiss authorities to reopen graft cases against President Zardari.

world Updated: Sep 25, 2012 23:53 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad

Pakistan's law minister Farooq Naek has submitted a draft to the Supreme Court of a letter his government has agreed to write to the Swiss authorities to reopen graft cases against President Zardari.

The letter is to be written on behalf of Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf and is being seen as a breakthrough in the troubled relations between the judiciary and executive.

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court forced the ouster of the then prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on his refusal to write such a letter.

However, this time round, the government agreed to go ahead and write the letter but also claimed at the same time that the president enjoyed immunity against persecution.

Ashraf said his government had no dispute with the judiciary and he would accept whatever was asked of his government.

On Tuesday, after the law minister presented the letter, the judges of the Surpreme Court retired to their chambers and requested the minister to consult with them in private.

Following the consultations, it was decided that some portions of the letter would be amended.

Naek said that the judges had some objections to parts of the letter. They also said that the letter should be addressed to the Swiss attorney general.

The draft seeks the withdrawal of letters written back in May 22, 2008 - by the then attorney general Malik Qayum - who had communicated to Swiss authorities that Pakistan was no longer interested in pursuing charges against Zardari.