SC verdict against NRO welcomed across the board
* Politicians ask president to resign on ‘moral grounds’ to save system * All NRO beneficiaries must face cases in court
* Ruling should not focus on any particular person
LAHORE: Politicians from both the ruling and opposition parties welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision that declared the National Reconciliation Ordinance in violation of the constitution.
Following the ruling, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the PML-Quaid (PML-Q), the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) asked President Asif Ali Zardari to resign immediately.
Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira said the party had clearly stated that it would not defend the NRO and was ready to face all cases against it in court.
State Minister for Ports and Shipping Nabeel Gabol said the PPP respected the SC judgement, adding that instead of focusing on an individual the entire system should be changed.
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif hailed the SC verdict, saying the ruling would result in the supremacy of law and the establishment of an effective and transparent process of accountability.
PML-N Senator Pervaiz Rashid said the party would formulate a future strategy after detailed intra-party discussion on the NRO verdict, adding that the PML-N wanted to protect the system but not any individual. PML-N leader Siddiqul Farooq called the SC decision “historic”, saying all cases withdrawn under the NRO had been revived. He said the SC order to recover looted amount from Swiss bank accounts and was appreciable.
The senator said the PML-N did not support mid-term elections in the country.
Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said the SC decision of declaring NRO unconstitutional was a “very good step”.
PML-N Information Secretary Ahsan Iqbal told a private TV channel that the party had faced all cases against it in the past, and suggested that the Pakistan People’s Party leaders also face the cases against them in courts.
PML-N central leader Khawaja Asif demanded the president resign immediately. “Though, he enjoys immunity under the constitution but it is his moral obligation to step down,” he added. Adviser to Punjab chief minister, Raja Ishfaq Sarwar, said the decision was a victory of justice and a ray of hope for the people. He said the ruling would help end corruption and will bring a good name for the country.
The PML-Q also welcomed the SC decision, saying the “clean up operation” should not be focused on a few persons.
Punjab Assembly Deputy Opposition Leader Muhammad Yar Hiraj said the accountability process had started after the SC’s rejection of the NRO.
PML-Q Parliamentary Leader in the NA Makhdoom Faisal Saleh Hayat called the SC decision a “landmark verdict” for which the whole nation was indebted to the SC. Demanding the resignation of President Asif Ali Zardari, Hayat said the president had lost all moral authority to remain in office even for a single second.
“I call upon the prime minister, to immediately place the names of NRO-tainted ministers and officials on the ECL,” he said. Hayat said the historic verdict would have far reaching political, legal, constitutional and moral implications therefore, the prime minister should convene an NA session within the next 48 hours to discuss the situation. PML-Q dissident chief Senator Salim Saifullah Khan welcomed the SC verdict on the NRO, saying that the historic decision would help eradicate corrupt practices in the country. Calling upon all beneficiaries of the NRO, Saifullah said they should tender immediate resignations and face their cases in the courts. He said the revival of cases in Swiss courts would also restore the nation’s pride and strengthen the country’s accountability system. PML-Q leader Kabeer Wasti asked the PPP to take action against all NRO-tainted leaders including its Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari. He asked Zardari to resign to save his party’s honour. PTI Chairman Imran Khan welcomed the SC decision and demanded President Asif Zardari resign from his office immediately.
He said Zardari had no moral basis to remain in office and should transfer all his powers to Yousaf Raza Gilani, as it would save the democratic system.
Former JI chief Qazi Hussain Ahmed said the SC verdict was the initiation of a new chapter in the history of the country. Qazi said the people’s looted money should be recovered at all costs.
He said the verdict would have a positive effect on the politics of the country, adding that the time of thieves and dacoits was over. “It is against the prestige of the office of the president if Asif Ali Zardari remains in his office,” he added. JI Secretary General Liaqat Baloch said the SC ruling was a decision which was in accordance with the wishes of the people. He said the NRO was an agreement between the plunderers of national wealth and a dictator.
Awami National Party Senator Haji Adeel said it was a national decision, which had been taken in accordance with the wishes of the people. He demanded the apex court also take action against those generals who had abrogated the constitution in the past.
Awami League leader Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said NRO beneficiaries must face the cases in the courts.
Muttahida Qaumi Movement leader Haider Abbas Rizvi said there were no corruption cases against the leaders and activists of the MQM.