Fe’reeha works out in Pakistan
The much anticipated verdict on NRO was announced this week in Pakistan. The NRO is the national reconciliation order formed by Pervez Musharraf and Benazir Bhutto’s party to give her and her husband amnesty from the corruption charges against her put forward by Nawaz Sharif’s government.
The news that countryâ€™s top court recognized the controversial amnesty as a menace to democratic and lawful set up is being embraced with happiness all over. For Pakistanis, it is time of happy news. Which does not come much often in the often tragedy struck region.
In a brief order issued shortly after 10 PM, the bench all cases withdrawn under the NRO would be reopened and convictions quashed under the law would stand restored. The apex court also declared as unconstitutional letters written to Swiss authorities during the regime of former military Pervez Musharraf to close corruption cases against Zardari and his slain wife, former premier Benazir Bhutto. It directed authorities to reopen these cases.
At present, it does not look as a direct threat to the President’s house with Farhatullah Baber reminding the media that amnesty that the President holds under article 248 of Pakistanâ€™s constitution.
The positive sign is that the court has directed authorities to reopen a slew of corruption cases. For the general public of Pakistan, the word accountability is music to ears. For years, they have heard stories of corrupt politicians and details of whopping amount of Pakistani money sitting in foreign banks.
But the challenge grows bigger now on. There is an astonishingly large number of bureaucrats and businessmen included in the list of the people who got themselves cleansed with the unholy water of NRO. How exactly will these people see justice.
The names also include some serious business holders in the government including the ambassadors in the UK and US, the interior minister and other parliamentarians.
The President and several close aides are among the over 8,000 people who benefited from the law, which expired last month after the government was unable to get it endorsed by parliament within a deadline set by the court.
The names on the list are only a powerful reminder that the battle against corruption in Pakistan has only just begun
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Filed in: Pakistan