By Alamzeb Khan
December, 16 2009
Islamabad, Pakistan: A full bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudry unanimously declares NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance) as null and void in a short order issued here Wednesday night. In its final verdict issued from the superior court, it was stated that the said ordinance is against the constitution of Pakistan as it benefited some highly influential people and not the country. The apex court in its short order further declared that NRO is in conflict to the article 4, 8, 25 and 62 of the constitution of Pakistan. The court's verdict comprised instructions to the government to revive Swiss Bank Account's issue and approach the Swiss government to reopen the cases. The court ordered the court to replace Prosecutor General and Deputy Prosecutor General NAB (National Accountability Bureau) for their lack of responsibility on NRO.
Scores of long awaiting lawyers and civil society activists standing outside the court welcome the decision and chant slogan in favor of Judiciary. Commenting on the verdict Presidential Spokesman Farhatullah Bara said that the decision does not affect President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari. We will wait for the detailed judgment and then will deal according, babar added.
Earlier During the hearing of petitions against NRO, both the prosecutor and defendant commented on the nature of the ordinance to defend their stances. Details including Geneva court proceedings and Swiss banks accounts were also presented to the 17 member larger bench. The apex court also directed Chairman Nab (National Accountability Bureau) Navid Ahsan to present accurate list of the beneficiaries with his signature.
During the proceedings Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudry shows dissatisfaction over acting Attorney General Shah Khawar and opined that he was trying to pant the court black and hiding the truth. The honorable judges during their comments remarked that NRO is also against the teachings of the holly Quran due to its discriminatory nature.
NRO termed as most notorious act of Constitution, was issued by the former president of Pakistan General (retd) Pervez Musharraf on October 5, 2007. The said ordinance granted amnesty to politicians, businessmen, bureaucrats and some other key figures who were accused of corruption, embezzlement, money-laundering, murder and attempt to murder between 1st January 1986 and October 12th 1999.
It is pertinent to be mentioned here that on 12th of October 2007, Chief Justcie Iftikhar Chaudry abolished the NRO, but he was soon dismissed by the then president Pervez Musharraf while abrogating the constitution on 3rd of November 2007. Later on the replaced Chief Justice Hamid Dogar revived the ordinance.
The reinstated Chaudry Iftikhar issued a deadline of 30th November 2009 for the ordinance to be passed from the parliament. However tremendous pressure from public with identical response from more than 340 parliamentarians made future of the NRO as vulnerable.
After the recent verdict all the beneficiaries of NRO have to face the brunt which may affect future of top leadership of the country particularly the ruling party.