Gilani’s defiance baffles Pakistani daily

March 17th, 2012 - 12:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Yousuf Raza Gilani Islamabad, March 17 (IANS) Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s “insolent stance” on writing a letter to the Swiss authorities to reopen corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari has left a Pakistani daily wondering whether “this government has nothing but contempt for the idea and the practice of rule of law”.

An editorial in the News International Saturday said there is no denying it anymore: “This government has nothing but contempt for the idea and the practice of rule of law”.

Stating that Gilani’s defiance in the face of Supreme Court orders has taken new heights, the daily said: “Maintaining his insolent stance on the issue of writing a letter to the Swiss authorities to reopen corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari, the PM said Thursday that he would much rather go to prison than write the letter”.

Gilani said: “If I write the letter it will be a violation of the Constitution, which is treason and carries the death penalty. If I don’t write, I will be convicted of contempt, the punishment for which is six-months imprisonment.”

Ergo he would rather face six months in prison for contempt than the death sentence for treason, said the editorial.

Since Gilani made the remark at the convocation ceremony of a university in Bahawalpur, the daily asked: “Can the prime minister do any worse than to send this message to young students who constitute our future generation: that one is under obligation to one’s parochial interests and affiliations, as the PM is to the president, but not to higher ideals such as his oath of office, the Constitution and the orders of the Supreme Court?”

“What kind of an example was the prime minister trying to set with his display of contempt for the law and SC orders?”

It went on to say that while the courts are trying to set an example that everyone is equal before the law, Gilani is publicly expressing his annoyance at being asked to account for his actions.

“We cannot help but be both baffled and exasperated.

“Pakistani governments don’t have the greatest record of following the law and doing the right thing. But in the last four years, this government has made even more of a calamitous mess of things,” it said.

“The courts have tried their best to push for meaningful changes in the way things are done but the government’s actions threaten to scuttle all these attempts,” the editorial added.

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