Pakistan’s Supreme Court today sought details of former presidents Pervez Musharraf and Asif Ali Zardari while hearing a case on the recovery of losses incurred because of the controversial National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO).
The apex court ordered that all respondents should declare their properties held abroad as well as foreign accounts and any offshore companies they own in affidavits submitted to the court, Dawn News reported.
The NRO was promulgated in October 2007 by the government of the then president Musharraf. Under the ordinance, cases against politicians were removed, paving the way for many of their return to the country.
Chief Justice Saqib Nisar also ordered former attorney general Malik Qayyum to provide details of his assets.
The three-member bench comprising the chief justice was hearing a petition moved by the president of Lawyers Foundation for Justice, Advocate Feroz Shah Gilani, for the recovery of losses Pakistan had incurred after the promulgation of the NRO.
“I have a thousand people in mind who we have to get all (assets) details from,” the chief justice remarked during today’s hearing.
The chief justice also asked the respondents to submit details of assets held by their family members.
When asked when Zardari and Qayyum would submit their asset details, Farooq H Naek, who was reportedly among the drafters of the NRO, responded that the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader has already submitted his reply.
Zardari, 64, will contest for a National Assembly seat from his native town Nawabshah in the upcoming general elections, making his return to the electoral and parliamentary politics after a gap of 24 years.
The court gave Musharraf two weeks to submit his reply in the case.
The chief justice remarked that respondents should take the apex court into confidence as to whether they have assets abroad. “What is the issue in taking the Supreme Court into confidence?”
Those who think they will not be caught will be found and apprehended, warned the top judge, adding that a lot of work still needs to be done. “We need to root out corruption and create dams.”
Qayyum and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) also submitted their replies in the court today.