ISLAMABAD: Though President Asif Ali Zardari has left the presidency with a guard of honour, he has to face six corruption cases pending against him, as he will lose the shield of immunity under Article 245 after completing his five-year constitutional term.
Accountability Court No 1, Islamabad, is now waiting to try Zardari as his term ended on September 8.
Currently the cases pending against Zardari which were closed due to presidential immunity include SGS Reference, Cotecna Reference, ARY Gold Reference, Ursus Tractor Reference, Assets Reference, Steel Mills Reference and Polo Ground Reference.
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader and prominent lawyer Sardar Latif Khosa said that it would be the prerogative of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman to initiate hearings and he will go through the merit of each case as all other accused have been acquitted.
He said the trial of Zardar in these cases would be a futile exercise.
He further argued that millions of rupees had been wasted from national exchequer on these cases but they could not be proved.
If the Nawaz government insisted on the trial of the cases, it would smack of political victimisation and wastage of time and the government should focus on real issues like terrorism, energy crisis and poor economic situation.
PML-N leader and prominent lawyer Zafar Ali Shah said it was the constitutional and legal obligation that after ending of immunity, the courts had to try Zaradri.
He said it was a legal matter and courts had to decide about them. However, he ruled out any political victimisation. He asserted that Zardari might be convicted in these cases.
However, other legal experts were of the view that the conviction of Zardari in all case would be too hard as the principal accused Benazir Bhutto, Begum Nusrat Bhutto, and 15 others including former chairman Capital Development Authority (CDA) Shafi Sahwani had been acquitted by the accountability courts. But legally he had to face the trial in order to prove his innocence, they added.