Court orders reopening of Pakistan graft case
ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s Supreme Court again ordered the government yesterday to ask Swiss authorities to reopen a money-laundering case against the president, raising the stakes in a case that has triggered speculation over the future of the Western-backed administration.
The court proceedings follow weeks of criticism against the democratically elected government over its handling of this summer’s floods and doubts it can handle the reconstruction.
The government’s supporters dismiss such talk as baseless rumors that have regularly cropped up since it took office 2 1/2 years ago. Even some of its critics say the coalition, however bad, must be allowed to complete its term to cement democratic traditions.
Stability in Pakistan is regarded as important to US hopes of achieving success across the border in Afghanistan, as well as in the nuclear-armed country’s own fight against an Al Qaeda and Taliban insurgency.
The dispute between the court and the government has been simmering since December, when judges struck down an amnesty protecting President Asif Ali Zardari and hundreds of other politicians from prosecution on graft.