Swiss position on Zardari case
FORMER prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani told the BBC Urdu Service that the fact that the Swiss authorities did not reopen corruption cases against President Zardari vindicated his (Gilani’s) position on the matter.
The fact is that the Swiss authorities did not reopen the case probably for two reasons: first, when a country closes a case, there must exist extraordinary circumstances for it to reopen that case. Politicking by the judiciary and the government of another country doesn’t make the cut.
Second, the Swiss were not going to denigrate their country by subjecting the constitutionally-elected head of state of another country to a juridical matter in Switzerland. Doing that would have indicated their utter unawareness of international law.
Pakistan’s politicised judiciary and its meek government that could not argue persuasively before the judiciary might not care about the perception that they don’t understand international law, but Switzerland that is home to the UN’s European headquarters could not afford that image.
Mr Gilani might have used the immunity as a reason to refuse to write the letter, but he knows and the entire world knows that his only reason was that he could not disobey Mr Zardari. It’s unfortunate that of late, in Pakistan, which has a parliamentary system of government, heads of government who have all executive powers have acted in subservience to a titular president with no executive power.
Any prime minister worth his name and in Mr Gilani’s situation would have made the president resign and face the court. That, of course, would have required a commitment to the rule of law.
For that matter, leaders of Pakistan’s other political parties behave similarly, and that is the main reason for the predicaments of the people of Pakistan. The people should thus rise to the occasion and change these political and politico-religious cults into genuine political parties based on the principles of equality, democracy and rule of law, and then see Pakistan become the bastion of peace and progress.