Yousuf Reza Gilani may have lost his job as Pakistan’s Prime Minister in retaliation for a corruption probe against the son of the judge who disqualified Gilani.
Leaders of Gilani’s Pakistan People's Party, or PPP, believe that Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry sought to oust the prime minister in order to squelch an investigation into the activities of his son Arsalan Iftikhar.
Arsalan was acused of having received 342 million Pakistani rupees ($3.6 million) from real estate magnate Malik Riaz Hussain in order to influence cases in the court.
Hussain admitted making such payments.
Since the chief justice's son's case surfaced, the case to disqualify the prime minister [Gilani] was suddenly taken up by the Supreme Court, and we had the decision regarding Gilani’s disqualification, senior PPP leader Usman Salim Malik told the Press Trust of India.
The court's decision leaves several questions unanswered. Only time will reveal the real motive behind the decision of the bench led by the chief justice in Gilani’s case.”
It is a biased decision as the courts have always targeted PPP governments, Malik added. We reject this verdict, and the masses will give a befitting reply to it in the next election.”
Gilani was essentially dismissed from his post for refusing to initiate a corruption charge against President Asif Ali Zardari related to the laundering of millions of dollars in a Swiss bank back in the 1990s. Gilani countered that as the head of state Zardari was immune from any investigations.
Jehangir Badar, the secretary-general of PPP, said that the courts have long instigated cases against the ruling party.
Conspiracies had been hatched against the PPP since it came to power in 2008,” he said.
“PPP workers are dejected and disappointed over the [supreme] court's decision, but they will continue their struggle to strengthen democracy.
However, the chief of the Pakistan Muslim League, or PML-N, party, Nawaz Sharif, said Gilani and the PPP have no one to blame but themselves.
“The rulers [PPP] would not have been humiliated like this if they upheld the constitution,” he told a press conference. Referring to the contempt charge that the court slapped on Gilani in April, Nawaz declared that the prime minister should have done the honorable thing then and step down from office.
Palash has worked as a business journalist for 21 years in New York.