LAHORE- According to a newspaper report, senior PPP leaders and a number of federal ministers at a meeting under the chairmanship of President Zardari have decided not to reopen cases against the president. The meeting was held at the presidency on Friday night to discuss the Supreme Court verdict that morning whereby it rejected the review petition against the decision on the National Reconciliation Ordinance. Since the newspaper that reported the meeting is very credible, there is no reason not to believe what it had said of the decision. This being so, it appears that the ruling PPP continues to defy the Supreme Court. It had not written a letter to the Swiss authorities as was mandatory under the judgment in the NRO case to have cases against President Zardari reopened. The legal brains of the government argued that the president enjoyed constitutional immunity from prosecution, therefore no letter could be sent to Switzerland. In other words, the lawyers knew more than the apex court and they deemed it fit to go by their own decision rather than courts. The government then filed a review petition against the said judgment, which was dismissed by the Supreme Court on Friday. The full court held that the federation had failed to make out any case. Under the law, the government is now left with no option but to implement the verdict and send a communication to the Swiss authorities. In case it decides not to do this, it will apparently amount to a contempt of court. Legal experts are in a better position to point out the leaders and officials who will have to face the consequences. But, this is not the first time that the government will be ignoring the court verdict. It had also failed to go by a judgment of the Lahore High Court delivered some six months ago. On May 11, the LHC had ruled that it 'expected President Asif Ali Zardari to suspend all his political activities on the grounds that they are inconsistent with the neutrality and independence of the presidential office. The bench said it is expected that the president of Pakistan will disassociate himself from political office at the earliest and will cease the use of the premises of the presidency for the purposes and political meetings of his party. It declared that the presidents participation in party decisions was extraneous to the duties and functions of his high constitutional office. Citing a newspaper report, the bench held that there is ample evidence that the meetings of the party in government, of which the president is co-chairperson, are regularly held in the presidency. The bench drew a distinction between the functions and duties of presidential office and that of political office, noting that the latter stemmed from the personal and private association of the president with his political party. These actions therefore do not enjoy immunity from the judicial process and call for judicial intervention to enforce the constitution, the court said. Despite this order, the PPP meetings are held at the presidency. Even the one which decided not to reopen cases against the president was held there. This amounts to violation of the court order. The presidents insistence to continue to hold the party office is against the spirit of the LHC ruling. His dual office may be benefiting him, but it is bringing a bad name to the president of Pakistan. Anybody who shouldnt be criticizing the president targets Mr Zardari in his capacity as the PPP co-chairperson. It was perhaps for this reason that the Punjab chief minister at a public meeting in Lahore named Mr Zrdari as Madari (the juggler) and threatened him to hang him upside down for his misdoings. While the chief minister should be very careful in the use of such words for the president, the head of state should also not provide any opportunity to his critics to use derogatory language against the holder of the top constitutional office. Also, the ruling party should be a role model for the others in the implementation of the court orders. If it doesnt give importance to court orders, others will feel encouraged to follow suit. And if the courts verdicts are not to be followed, then it will amount to demolishing an important pillar of the state. The rulers must bear in mind that they are not setting healthy precedents. Already the controversy on the memorandum that (now former ambassador) Hussain Haqqani sent to the US authorities has shaken the country. Its the subject of discussions at all forums. Everybody agrees that it was a shameful attempt to control the Pakistan army and the ISI, which are defenders of the country. Many say that Haqqanis resignation would not bring the matter to an end. They think that more heads would roll in the weeks ahead. Some fear that ultimately the government could be packed up.