Five questions of law for Bhutto reference
By Khawar Ghumman
ISLAMABAD: A special meeting of the federal cabinet decided on Wednesday that Babar Awan, the counsel of President Asif Ali Zardari, would present five questions of law before the Supreme Court on Thursday relating to a reference for revisiting the case of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.
Addressing a press conference after the cabinet meeting, Information Minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said the Pakistan People’s Party wanted the superior judiciary to undo the wrong done to Mr Bhutto.
She said the questions which had been framed as required by the Supreme Court could not be made public until presented before the court.
She said Babar Awan told the cabinet that the objective of filing the reference was that the error of judgment be corrected for statutes and legal history because it was a judicial murder of the chairman of a premier political party and the founder of the country’s Constitution.
The minister said that only the judiciary which had done the wrong had the power to undo it. For that reason the government has adopted a constitutional course of action to rectify a historical wrong.
She said the reference would help fulfil the dream of independence of judiciary in the country and the sacrifices rendered by Mr Bhutto for the country would be acknowledged.
Sources close to the law ministry told Dawn that the government would seek a curative judgment in the Bhutto case. But, they said, it would be a tough call for the court because not one curative judgment had been made in the legal history of the country.
About speculations relating to an offer made to political parties, especially the PML-Q, to join the federal government, the minister said there were no permanent friends and foes in politics and the government was in contact with all of them.
She said the government was following Benazir Bhutto’s policy of national reconciliation.
She said since the country was facing multiple challenges of drone attacks, economic meltdown because of a sharp increase in oil prices and rising inflation, it was necessary to adopt the policy of reconciliation.
“Although it is difficult at the moment to make a final comment on the future composition of the government, nothing can be ruled out,” responded Ms Awan when asked which political parties had agreed to join the coalition government.
She said that PPP’s core committee in its meeting on Tuesday night had given full mandate to President Asif Ali Zardari as co-chairman of the party to take a decision about future coalition partners.
As a result of detailed deliberations within the party, a special committee has been constituted to determine priorities for the political dialogue.
The PPP was also interested in taking on board political forces not represented in parliament.
About the issue of Seraiki province, she said the party would discuss it before including it in its manifesto for the next elections.