SC seeks govt reply on petition to stop Zardari from leaving country
31 August, 2013
ISLAMABAD: As the five-year term of President Asif Ali Zardari is about to end on September 8, the Supreme Court has sought the federal government's response on a petition requesting that President Zardari should not be allowed to leave the country after expiry of his tenure, since he wilfully concealed sensitive information from the armed forces about the Abbottabad incident.
A US Navy SEALs team had conducted a two-hour operation to kill Osama bin Laden on Pakistani soil without informing the government.
A three-member bench, headed by Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, after a brief hearing on Friday accepted the petition for regular hearing.
The petitioner argued that President Zardari was completing his term next week; therefore, he (petitioner) had submitted the application for early hearing.
Former deputy attorney general of Pakistan (AGP) and PPP's active lawyer Shafi Muhammad Chandio raising a question over the bona fide of the petitioner in this matter said that after targeting the PPP leadership since long, the SC should now focus on other issues, like increase in petroleum prices.
He said that the memo commission had already exonerated President Zardari from any direct involvement in the memo scandal.
Shahid Orakzai had filed the petition regarding the matter in 2011, but the SC Registrar Office returned it with objections. When Orakzai, after removing the objections, again filed it, the office clubbed it with Nawaz Sharif's petition regarding the memo scandal.
It's worth mentioning that last week, Orakzai filed a petition again, and on Thursday filed an application for early hearing, which the SC office fixed before a three-member bench.
Orakzai said that the SC office was brushing aside information, which had direct bearing on the security of Pakistan. "The office, seemingly, does not prefer such information to be known to the Supreme Court. Under the constitution, sensitive information relating to national security can't be brushed aside or concealed from security forces," he asserted.
The SC issued notices to the federal government and Attorney General of Pakistan Munir A Malik, and adjourned the hearing until September 3.