PML-N calls PPP’s Zulfikar Ali Bhutto reference ‘a distraction’

April 18th, 2011 - 5:44 pm ICT by ANI  

Lahore, Apr 18(ANI): Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Information Secretary Ahsan Iqbal has said that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)-led government has taken up Zulfikar Ali Bhutto reference to distract people from its failures.

President Asif Ali Zardari had signed the reference seeking to reopen the case of former Prime Minister and PPP founder Bhutto, who was hanged on April 4, 1979, in Rawalpindi.

However, Iqbal identified drone attacks, poverty, terrorism and load shedding as the actual problems of Pakistan.

“Reopening of Bhutto case will not produce any result,” the News quoted Iqbal, as saying.

Nasim Hasan, who was a member of the bench that had upheld the death penalty awarded to Bhutto, had admitted in the interview that there was not enough evidence to put the former premier on death row, and that he should have voted against the hanging and felt bad for not doing so.

This admission amounted to a violation of the constitutional oath of office of the Chief Justice and judges of the superior judiciary and attracted cognisance under the Constitution’s Article 6 relating to high treason, the reference had said.

According to sources, the reference also pointed out that Justice Ghulam Safdar Shah, who wrote a dissenting judgment in the Bhutto case, was subsequently witch-hunted and had to leave the country in a miserable condition.

The reference also questions as to why Bhutto was not first tried by a sessions court, which would have been legally bound to follow the case law developed up to the time of trial, whereas the high court ignored the same altogether.

It also noted that in this case, there was absolutely no precedent of conviction and sentence of capital punishment awarded on the testimony of an approver, up to the time of trial and conviction. (ANI)

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