Pakistan PM unlikely to be arrested soon

Several procedures will have to be completed before any arrest warrant can be issued, says a federal minister
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First Published: Wed, Jan 16 2013. 09 18 PM IST
A file photo of Pakistan Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf. Photo: AFP
A file photo of Pakistan Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf. Photo: AFP
Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Raja Parvez Ashraf is unlikely to be arrested soon on graft charges despite a Supreme Court order for the same as sources and government on Wednesday maintained that the court had not set any deadline.
The government will act according to the law on the Pakistan Supreme Court’s order for action against Ashraf over alleged graft in power projects though several procedures will have to be completed before any arrest warrant can be issued, a federal minister said.
“The government of Pakistan is acting according to the law and what the Supreme Court has said will be acted upon.
The judgement of the Supreme Court will be honoured,” information minister Qamar Zaman Kaira told a news conference outside Parliament this evening.
However, Kaira made it clear that several procedures would have to be completed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), the country’s main anti-corruption agency, before an accountability or anti-corruption court can issue an arrest warrant. Sources in the government told PTI that the NAB was unlikely to take any immediate action to arrest 62-year-old Ashraf.
Though media reports had on Tuesday quoted the Supreme Court bench as saying that Ashraf and the other suspects should be arrested in 24 hours, the written order issued by the bench set no deadline for the arrests.
A three-judge bench headed by chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry on Tuesday directed the National Accountability Bureau, the country’s main anti-corruption agency, to initiate action against Ashraf and over 20 other persons for alleged corruption in the setting up of “rental power projects”.
In its order, the bench directed officials to submit investigation reports and get approval for “challans” (chargesheets) and cases against the accused and “to cause their arrest without any hesitation”.
The bench further directed authorities to submit a report to the court on 17 January.
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First Published: Wed, Jan 16 2013. 09 18 PM IST
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