Pakistan Supreme Court warns against delaying elections
Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:12PM
The executive, both civilian and military, shall not take any action or steps that are tantamount to deviation from the election." Pakistani Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad ChaudhryThe Pakistani Supreme Court has ordered the upcoming national elections to go ahead as planned, warning the government and military against postponing the historic polls. "The executive, both civilian and military, shall not take any action or steps that are tantamount to deviation from the election," Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said on Thursday. "Deviation from the constitution or introducing any other system not recognized by the constitution shall not be acceptable."
Chaudhry made the remarks after the country’s anti-corruption chief Fasih Bokhari wrote to President Asif Ali Zardari, accusing the Supreme Court judges of trying to influence the upcoming parliamentary elections in May.Bokhari’s clash with the judiciary goes back to two weeks ago when he refused to arrest Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf over corruption charges. The Supreme Court had ordered the arrest of Ashraf over the premier’s alleged involvement in a bribery case in 2010 when he was the minister for water and power. The Court, which has final say on interpreting the constitution, has repeatedly clashed with the civilian government over the past few years. Last year, it convicted then-prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani of contempt and ousted him from office for refusing to reopen an old corruption case against the president. TE/HMV