ISLAMABAD - Once again the legal wizards of Pakistan People’s Party have not fully complied with the Supreme Court direction regarding the text of the letter to be written to the Swiss authorities seeking reopening of graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.

Sources aware of the relevant developments and the series of meetings held under the chair of Federal Law Minister Farooq H Naek informed The Nation that in the amended draft of the letter too, there is clear-cut mention of the sovereign immunity to President Asif Ali Zardari back home on the basis of which he would secure international immunity against the criminal proceedings pending against him anywhere abroad including Switzerland.

There is no ambiguity in the mind of the PPP leadership on the point that they would “not let anyone put the grave of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto on trial”, at least during the PPP rule, a senior PPP leader confided to this correspondent when approached for comment.

PPP sources informed that the proposed text of the letter to be presented in the Supreme Court tomorrow (Friday) would not help in reopening of any of the cases against President Zardari in Switzerland and in this way the PPP leadership stance would stand vindicated. They said President Zardari would once again be taking the coalition partners on board before the Oct 5 appearance in the apex court when the law minister would present the amended draft of the letter before the five-member bench.

Sources said that the PPP leadership under the chair of President Zardari met in Karachi Wednesday night where the letter issue was disused, besides other sensitive issues including the public outrage against the Sindh Peoples Local Government Law 2012 and the estrangement of some of the coalition partners of PPP on the issue.

Law Minister Farooq H Naek and Barrister Waseem Sajjad had given detailed briefing to the PPP Core Committee members meeting held under the joint chair of President Zardari and Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, who flew to the port city Wednesday afternoon.

Party sources informed that the leadership agreed that they could not allow reopening of the Swiss cases as any deviation from their stance in this regard could cost them dearly in the upcoming general elections. They said that the changes in the draft letter to be dispatched to Swiss authorities would be made in the light of the party policy and not the direction of the apex court judges.

They said that in the proposed draft there was explicit mention of the Presidential Immunity in the light of article 248 of the constitution and at the same time there was no clear mention of restoration of Mutual Legal Assistance with Switzerland on the money laundering cases pending against President Zardari.

Legal experts said that the only benefit of the letter drafted by law minister would be that the cases pending against President Zardari would stand restored but the same could not be opened for trial in Swiss courts till the time Zardari is holding the office of the President.

Zamir Sheikh from Karachi adds: Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf called on President Asif Ali Zardari at Bilawal House here on Wednesday night.

The President briefed the Prime Minister about his visit to New York where he raised the issue of the blasphemous film at the 67th annual session of the UN General Assembly. He also apprised the Prime Minister about his meetings with the world leaders on the sideline of the UN General Assembly session.

The Prime Minister briefed the President about situation in Balochistan and law and order situation in the country.

The meeting of the ruling PPP leadership should be seen in the backdrop of the Supreme Court’s order in the NRO implementation case under which the government will have to submit the final draft of the Swiss letter before the Apex Court on October 5th, they added.

During the last hearing of the NRO implementation case, Federal Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Farooq H Naek, had said that the government would abide by the Supreme Court’s observations in letter and spirit while writing the letter to Swiss authorities.

The sources said that the PPP leadership will also take stock of the situation in Sindh arising out of the passage of Sindh People’s Local Government Ordinance (SPLGO) by the Sindh Assembly and also devise the party’s future strategy to counter the nationalist parties.

Sources said that Sindh Governor Dr. Ishrat ul Ebad and Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah also attended the meeting.

Earlier, Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf on his arrival at the Karachi Airport, was received by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Senior Minister Pir Mazharul Haq, Inspector General of Police Sindh, Commissioner Karachi and other officials.

PPP keeps Swiss letter toothless