ISLAMABAD - The turning down of governments plea by the Supreme Court of Pakistan on National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) review petition would have little bearing on the National Accountability Bureau, as the bureau had already withdrawn the benefit given under the ordinance and all the cases and inquiries were reopened since the detailed judgement was handed down in the case. Sources in Ministry of Law informed TheNation that the turning down of the review plea would have far-reaching implication in the cases other than those of corruption cases being pursued by the National Accountability Bureau. Because the number of cases in which relief was given to the accused stood at 8,041, whereas in only 233 cases, being prosecuted by the NAB, the accused had taken benefit. In all the NAB cases the benefit was withdrawn and cases were reopened and not even in a single case hearing was deferred on the plea that the government had filed review petition against the apex court decision in NRO case. Even the SGS and Cotechna corruption references, wherein the court had given direction for writing letter for reopening of trial in Switzerland, were taken up for hearing sans President Asif Ali Zardari, one of the accused in both these cases, who has immunity under Article 248 of the Constitution. The sources in NAB informed that in all some 249 corruption cases were pending with various NAB courts across the country when National Reconciliation Ordinance was introduced by the then President Gen Pervez Musharraf under some clandestine deal with Benazir Bhutto. The main beneficiaries of NRO were those who had been facing cases involving murder, attempted murder, loot and arson and other crimes of heinous nature and even after striking down of NRO void ab initio by the apex court these cases were not revived. To a question about writing of letter to Swiss government for reopening of the corruption cases pending against President Zardari and others the sources in the Ministry of Law informed that the matter of writing letter to the Swiss authorities would definitely arise but after the decision of the apex court in the NRO implementation case which is still pending adjudication. It is pertinent to mention here that when PPP-led coalition government had put in limbo the matter of implementation of NRO verdict even after handing down of the detailed judgement in the case the matter of non-implementation of apex courts verdict was again taken up in the court and the court has to put it on backburner as the government had come up with a review petition in the court with the submission that they should also be heard in the case. Earlier the federation had refused to become party in the case and had left the matter to the court to decide in the NRO case but after the court declared it void ab initio the federation stepped in and filed review petition so that their point of view could also come on record. It was also requested by the federation that the hearing in NRO implementation case should be deferred till the decision of apex court on review petition in the case and the court accepted the plea. Since then the NRO implementation case was adjourned sine die. When asked about the writing of letter to Swiss authorities for reopening of corruption cases against President Zardari and others in Switzerland an official in NAB on condition of anonymity said that writing letter to Swiss authorities was not in their purview and it was the government to decide on the matter. He, however, said that as the matter of implementation of apex court verdict in NRO case was sub judice so till the decision of the Supreme Court in the NRO Implementation case the government could have a breathing space but finally it has to implement the court verdict in true letter and spirit. A source in Ministry of Law informed that they would wait for the apex court decision in NRO Implementation case and would decide their future course in the light of the apex court direction. The sources aware of the discussions taking place at various level on this subject informed that besides writing letter to Swiss authorities another major worry of the rulers was how to deal with the criminal cases withdrawn under NRO as their number was in thousands and in Sindh alone some 3576 cases were quashed under NRO and in most of the cases the record of these cases was not available with the lower courts, which was destroyed either by default or design. The major beneficiary of the NRO in Sindh was Muttahida Qoumi Movement and thousands of their leaders and activists had benefited from this notorious ordinance. Some 71 cases including 31 murder and 11 attempted murder cases were withdrawn against party Quaid Altaf Hussain while partys Parliamentary Leader and Federal Minister Dr. Farooq Sattar secured benefit in 23 cases including five murder and four attempted murder cases. Similarly Shoaib Bokhari, Babar Ghouri, Governor Ishratul Ibaad, Kanwar Khalid Younis, Saleem Shahzad, Waseem Akhtar and many others secured benefit of NRO. Similarly scores of PPP leaders and activists, and a large number of bureaucrats had secured benefit under the ordinance not only in corruption but also in criminal cases. So it would be another major headache for the ruling PPP to face when the court would surely direct the government in the NRO Implementation case to go for complete implementation of its verdict in NRO case.