Pakistan PM Slapped With Contempt Charge, Is Jail Next?

High-Stakes Court Appearance Scheduled for Thursday

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousef Raza Gilani’s defiant declaration yesterday that he answers to “no individual” and can do whatever he pleases seems a lifetime away this evening, as the Pakistani Supreme Court has slapped a Contempt of Court charge on him.

The contempt charges are related to Gilani’s refusal to implement a Supreme Court ruling from late 2009, that the Musharraf era immunity law was unconstitutional and ordered that members of Gilani’s cabinet face investigations and possible charges of corruption.

Gilani will be compelled to appear before the court on Thursday as part of an extremely high stakes inquiry into his refusal. A conviction would disqualify him from remaining as Prime Minister, and could also land him in jail for the next six months.

Gilani’s tenure might not even last that long, however, as advisors to his Pakistani Peoples Party (PPP) have been pleading with Gilani and President Zardari to announce new elections before the legal and political trouble totally destroys the party, and opposition figures are demanding he step down in the face of the new charges.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.