Islamabad, June 24: Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari on Sunday issued a presidential decree to prevent any of the actions taken and orders passed by former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani during the past two months from being challenged in courts.
The decree, called the Validation Ordinance, 2012, said “any actions taken, orders passed, directions issued, advice given to President or appointments made by Yousuf Raza Gilani, shall be deemed to have been validly done”.
It added that “the provisions of the ordinance shall have, and shall be deemed to always have had, effect accordingly”.
One of the provisions of the ordinance, which is to go to the parliament for legislation, made it clear that no suit, prosecution or any other legal proceedings, including a petition, could be filed in any court or forum, including the Supreme Court, against any order made or functions performed by the former Premier.
“The new ordinance comes into force at once and extends legal cover to orders passed by Gilani from April 26 to June 19,” a senior government official said.
The Supreme Court had dismissed Gilani for contempt and announced his disqualification to be effective from April 26 when he was convicted for refusing to ask Swiss authorities to reopen corruption cases against Zardari.
The Supreme Court had ordered re-opening of all cases of corruption under a December 2009 judgment that scrapped the National Reconciliation Ordinance, which also benefited several other politicians.
The ordinance had been promulgated by former President Pervez Musharraf in 2007 as part of a power-sharing deal with opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, who was assassinated the same year, paving the way for his spouse to become the head of state following the February 2008 parliamentary elections.
Zardari had allegedly used Swiss Bank accounts to launder about $12 million in bribes paid by different companies seeking contracts for customs inspection in Pakistan in the 1990s.The ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and its coalition partners in the National Assembly had on Friday elected former information technology minister Raja Pervez Ashraf as the country’s new Prime Minister to fill the vacuum created by Gilani’s dismissal.