No proceedings if immunity proved: Justice Nasir
ISLAMABAD: A larger bench of the Supreme Court began hearing of contempt of court case against Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani Wednesday, Geo News reported.The seven-member larger bench is headed by Justice Nasir ul Mulk.During proceedings, Justice Nasir remarked that there is no need for contempt proceedings if the immunity is proved, adding that the PM said the decision not to write the letter to Swiss authorities was his own.PM Gilani s counsel barrister Aitzaz Ahsan argued that the premier could not read detailed verdict of the court he has to act on advice of aides. Law Minister and Secretary advised the prime minister. He said President of Pakistan has immunity both in and outside the country. ?My opinion was there is no issue in writing letter, Aitzaz said.Didn t PM violate orders by refusing to write letter, Justice Khosa asked. He acts on advice of aides, not on orders of court. Is this the sincerity that your client doesn t write letter, he observed.Aitzaz argued that for implementation, the case should have gone to the High Court.On January 19, giving his point of view before the seven-member bench, Prime Minister Gilani said the president enjoys complete immunity, not only in Pakistan but also in the world as enunciated by the Constitution.
Firdous’s briefing wrong-foots MalikISLAMABAD: The usually bullish Interior Minister, Rehman Malik, had to face embarrassment at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday when he could not come up with a reasonable explanation for an inordinate delay in setting up a madressah regulatory authority.
Briefing reporters on the deliberations of the cabinet, Information Minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said setting up of the authority was a decision of the cabinet and the interior ministry had failed to implement it.
But, she said, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani expressed satisfaction on the overall progress report presented by Mr Malik.
The interior minister informed the meeting that he had implemented 69 of the 78 cabinet decisions relating to his ministry.
He said he was holding talks with the quarters concerned about setting up the authority.
According to an informed source, when Mr Malik was asked about the delay, he explained that evolving consensus among various sects on the matter wasn’t an easy job. Besides the involvement of several other federal ministries, opinion of the provincial governments was also required, he said.
At the moment, the interior minister said, the people concerned had not agreed even on the name of the authority, let alone other issues.
Mr Malik protested that most of the time other departments’ failures were laid at his ministry’s door.
The government had asked Mr Malik in November 2009 to reach out to various independently-run madressah boards and set up a central authority to regulate the functioning of religious schools on the lines of the general education system.
He has repeatedly said in parliament that he is contacting scholars of all sects for the purpose.
The information minister said the authority would register madressahs throughout the country and would also work on improving their curriculum and ensuring regular sources of funding.
She said one of the important tasks of the authority would be to introduce an admission criterion for foreign students who came to the country for religious education.
Scrutiny of foreign students enrolled in seminaries has been a thorny issue.
Gen Pervez Musharraf talked a lot about madressah reforms and spent millions of rupees on the project with absolutely no result in the end.
Talking to this reporter, Abdul Qudoos, spokesman for Maulana Salimullah Khan, head of the Ittihad-i-Tanzeemat Madaris (ITM), claimed that whatever the interior minister had been saying on the media about the proposed regulatory authority had no ground.
The ITM is an umbrella organisation of the five madressah boards representing major schools of thought.
“There has been no serious effort on the part of the government for setting up the authority except giving media statements,” the spokesman said.
He said a special committee formed by the interior minister to prepare a draft rules for the proposed authority to be presented before parliament had met only a couple of times with no fruitful discussion on the subject.
Mr Qudoos said the five madressah boards had about 25,000 seminaries registered with them.
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