20 April 2014

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NRO: PM given time to draft letter until Sept 25th

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ISLAMABAD:  The Supreme Court during the hearing of NRO implementation case, granted two weeks to prepare draft of the letter to the Swiss authorities here on Tuesday.A five-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, heard the show-cause notice for contempt of court against Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf over the NRO implementation case.According to our correspondent, Law Minister Farooq H Naek had requested the court to give time till September 28. He informed the court that he wanted to outline such a draft that is acceptable to both the federation and the court.Also PM Ashraf requested the court to exempt him from the next hearing because he has to visit flood hit areas, upon which the court accepted his plea and provide him immunity from court appearances.Judge Asif Saeed Khosa said the court wanted to see the letter before it was sent to the Swiss to check whether it satisfied the requirements of the earlier order, and adjourned the case to September 25.Former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was disqualified in June after being convicted of contempt of court for refusing to obey orders to write to the Swiss and it seemed his successor Ashraf could suffer the same fate.There had been fears the standoff could force elections before February 2013 when the government would otherwise become the first in Pakistan’s history to complete an elected, full five-year mandate.On Monday, President Asif Ali Zardari and PM Raja Pervaiz Ashraf chaired a meeting of allied parties’ heads, during the meeting it was decided that the coalition parties will support Ashraf on his appearance before the court.

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