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Court 'sentences' Gilani for contempt
Prime minister avoids jail term, but observers say the crisis has not yet passed
- ucanews.com reporter, Lahore
- April 26, 2012
The sentence was symbolic, but observers say the decision could throw Gilaniâ€™s leadership into question and add further strain on a judiciary already the target of mounting criticism.
Peter Jacob, executive secretary of the Justice and Peace Commission at the Catholic Bishopsâ€™ Conference of Pakistan, said the sentence was â€śmildâ€ť but nonetheless significant.
â€śPeople were fearing a worse situation if he was sent to jail. Still, a crisis has been born.â€ť
Gilani, the countryâ€™s longest-serving premier, was summoned twice this year by the court for failing to reopen an investigation into charges of money laundering by Swiss authorities against Zardari.
â€śThe decision may also affect the credibility of the Supreme Court, which should intervene much less [than it does] in political issues. Only the political process can improve such [problems],â€ť Jacob said.
But Fr Joseph Louis, executive secretary of Caritas Pakistan in Lahore, blamed Gilani for putting his party above the country.
â€śWe are left [living] hand to mouth because of corrupt leaders. There is no electricity or gas, and many government institutions have collapsed,â€ť Fr Louis said.
â€śThe prime minister should resign on moral grounds, or else the crises in the country will continue.â€ť