Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and several of his close aides are among over 8,000 persons who were granted immunity in corruption cases under a controversial law, according to a list made public today.
The list of beneficiaries of the National Reconciliation Ordinance, issued by former military ruler Pervez Musharraf two years ago, did not include the name of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's wife as stated in media reports earlier.
Besides Zardari, the list includes the names of his close aides Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, Salman Faruqui, secretary general in the presidency, Hussain Haqqani, the Pakistani envoy to the US, and Wajid Shamsul Hassan, the envoy to Britain.
The move came after growing pressure from political parties on the ruling Pakistan People's Party to name the people who had benefited from the NRO.
Minister of State for Law Muhammad Afzal Sindhu, who released the list during a news conference here, told reporters that Gilani's wife's name was not in the list.
Gilani, who chose to contest graft cases against him instead of benefiting from the NRO, is believed to have played a key role in bringing the list into the open.
Earlier this week, Gilani said he would quit if media reports about his wife benefiting from the NRO were proved correct.