Pakistani court restrains President Zardari from political activities

Other News Materials 12 May 2011 15:22 (UTC +04:00)

A Pakistani court on Thursday restrained President Asif Ali Zardari from political activities and ruled that the president must be neutral, Xinhua reported.

Zardari is the Co-Chairman of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and regularly presides over meeting of the party and also makes appointments of the party's office-bearers.

Zardari's son Bilawal Bhutto is the Chairman of the PPP but being a student in Brtain, he has not yet started political activities. Party sources said that Bilawal will start his political role later this year.

The dual office of Zardari was challenged in the Lahore High Court (LHC), which delivered a 35-page ruling, restraining him from political activities.

The LHC five-member bench headed by the LHC Chief Justice Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhry argued that the President should be neutral as he is symbol of federation.

The verdict said that the Presidency could not be used for political activities.

A lawyers group, Pakistan Lawyers Forum had filed the petition in the LHC in October last year and challenged the dual office of President Zaradri. The petitioner had argued that the president " is the symbol of the unity of state and must be non-partisan, impartial, and he should distance himself from party matters and he should shun the party activities."

The federation's counsel, Talib Rizvi, had filed four petitions contending that courts could not supersede political matters.

The LHC reserved the judgment last month and announced the verdict on Thursday.

Zardari is currently on state visit to Russia and is scheduled to meet his Russian counterpart in the Kremlin later Thursday.

There was no reaction from the Presidential spokesman.