Pakistan court suspends licence of pro-Zardari lawyer
Pakistan's Supreme Court Tuesday suspended the lawyer's licence of a close legal aide of President Asif Ali Zardari, for not responding to a contempt notice, in the latest event in the increasing rift between the judiciary and government, DPA reported.
In December, Babar Awan twice ridiculed the judiciary, most recently when the court appointed a commission to probe the unsigned memo allegedly sent by former envoy to Washington, Husain Haqqani, to seek US help against a suspected army coup.
"We were obliged to do this (suspend the licence)," the court said in an order, and directed that Zardari be informed of the move.
The civilian government is at loggerheads with the judiciary over the reopening of graft cases against Zardari. The court has already issued a contempt notice to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani for his alleged failure to cooperate in the investigations.
The revocation of Awan's licence is seen as a warning to Gilani, who has been summoned to appear before the court on Thursday to explain why he failed to implement court orders.
The court has repeatedly ordered Gilani's government to ask Swiss authorities to reopen a money laundering case against Zardari. But the government says the president enjoys immunity from prosecution.
The government has already been weakened because of ongoing tensions with the military over the memo scandal, and its problems may increase as an assertive judiciary is not inclined to show leniency to it.