IHC asks Zardari to submit details within two weeks

Islamabad: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday took up a petition seeking former president Asif Ali Zardari’s disqualification, and issued notices to him to submit his response within two weeks. IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah presided over hearing of the petition while lamenting that such matters should have been resolved in the parliament. “You people could have approached the Federal Board of Revenue. This court has 18,000 other cases to settle,” he remarked. “While other appropriate forums are available, why the court should be involved in such matters?” he further asked. Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Usman Dar’s lawyer told the court that details of assets owned by Zardari were not declared in his nomination papers. To which, Justice Minallah responded that the Supreme Court’s verdict in Panama Papers could be read.  “You should first justify your stance by convincing the court that no other forum is available to resolve the matter,” the judge concluded. During the last hearing, the top judge had asked the PTI leaders to explain why the disqualification plea should be heard on the priority basis. “Is this a case of public interest?” he had asked. “This is the time to strengthen parliament,” he had said. “We want to ensure the supremacy of parliament,” he had remarked.