ISLAMABAD - With the acceptance of review petition in NRO Implementation case, Pakistan People’s Party is likely to secure the breathing space they want to stretch their rule for another couple of months.
Background interviews with constitutional and legal experts and information shared by PPP leaders with TheNation revealed that the Damocles’ Sword hanging over the head of the ruling PPP in shape of imminent disqualification of their second Prime Minister would be delayed for at least couple of months, as in the review petition in NRO Implementation case the government has taken the shield of Article 248 of the Constitution dealing with the Presidential Immunity and matter definitely requiring ample time for redefining the scope and limits of the article.
Sources in the PPP informed that the things were unfolding as per their wishes as PPP-led coalition government wanted to stretch their rule for another few months, primarily to avoid holding of early elections and in case the debate on Article 248 would consume two to three months time then the things would automatically enter into formation of interim government and then holding of general elections.
Again the process of formation of caretaker government would be requiring sometime at least a month or so automatically pushing the things to holding of general elections as per scheduled time.
It is pertinent to mention here that during the contempt of court proceedings against former Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, who was sent home for defying the court orders by not writing letter to Swiss authorities for reopening of the graft case against President Asif Ali Zardari, the court had asked Barrister Ch Aitzaz Ahsan, counsel of former premier, to argue on Article 248, but he avoided it and mainly based his arguments on international law giving immunity to heads of states.
But now the government’s review petition was mainly based on Article 248 and the whole case was based on the immunity given to President under that article and the case would surely result into the redefining of the parameters and scope of Article 248.
Constitutional and legal experts expected that Presidential Immunity under the constitution would come under sharp focus in the court and most likely the court would appoint some Amicus Curiae as well to assist the court in the matter, while some constitutional experts would likely join the trial on their own keeping in view the significance of the subject, and hence the arguments on the subject would definitely consume time and likely stretch beyond couple of months.
In this way the PPP purpose to prolong their rule for another two to three months would be fulfilled and in the meantime the demand for early elections would become superfluous, as the time for general elections as per scheduled time would automatically close in.
Sources in the PPP informed that in the meantime the ruling coalition would put the house in order by controlling the load-shedding and other problems facing the people right now, courtesy the US $ 1.10 billion funds released by the United States under Coalition Support Fund (CSF). Sources in PPP further informed that though the party was yet to decide on personal appearance of Prime Minister in the apex court on 27th of this month, but it was widely believed that Prime Minister along with his cabinet colleagues would appear before the court, like they(PPP) had done in the case of Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, and would request the court to defer the proceedings in the case till the time the decision on review petition filed by the government in NRO Implementation Case would be made and most likely the court would accept the plea.