Islamabad, 10 February 2012. If one goes by the mood that prevailed during the PPP’s core committee meeting on Wednesday night, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani will never write a letter to Swiss authorities to reopen money laundering cases against President Asif Ali Zardari. Sources privy to the proceedings told Dawn that the entire leadership of the party was in unison that no letter would be written to the Swiss government. Instead, they said, the government would fight its case in the Supreme Court.
Talking to Dawn, a senior PPP leader said as far as the ruling party was concerned, it (letter) was a past and closed transaction as long as President Asif Ali Zardari was holding the office.
Endorsing Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan’s argument that the sitting president enjoys complete immunity from criminal prosecutions of whatsoever nature, the PPP official said since the matter was with the apex court, let it pass the judgment..
A similar response came frmom a top official at the Prime Minister’s Secretariat who said: “I don’t know if some change of heart will take place tonight, but so far the government is totally committed not to write this letter.”
The PPP Information Secretary, Qamar Zaman Kaira, said since it was a legal and sub judice issue he won’t comment on it.
The media section of the PM Secretariat was unaware of any contact between Mr Gilani and Barrister Aitzaz, who had a long day at the Supreme Court on Thursday.
Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, heading an eight-member bench hearing an intra-court appeal filed by the prime minister in the contempt case, said in so many words that if Mr Gilani decided to write a letter to the Swiss authorities, the case could be dropped.
It remains to be seen whether Prime Minister Gilani will write the letter and clear his name of the contempt charges, or he will continue to contest the charges which the court had decided to formally frame against him on February 13.