In a move that could greatly up the ante in the clash between the Zardari government and the Pakistani judiciary, A top lawyer of the Pakistani Supreme Court warned that they could call in the army to enforce their rulings in the administration declined to do so.
Last month the Supreme Court declared the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) unconstitutional, stripping several key members of the ruling party of legal immunity from a littany of corruption charges stemming from their roles in the previous administrations.
Though President Zardari hypothetically retains immunity through his office, it has also been argued that Zardari’s election was itself illegal because he would have been unable to run without the NRO in place.
Zardari’s ruling Pakistani Peoples Party (PPP) has unsuccessfully petitioned to have Zardari’s immunity retroactively restored, and the court said they could issue another appeal to the decision.
At the same time, Zardari is said to be under growing pressure to resign, with media outlets reporting that he has been sent “umpteen” messages from government institutions, including the military, which have been working with Prime Minister Yousef Raza Gilani, one of the few top PPP members not currently under charges.