National Reconciliation Ordinance

On October 05, 2007, General Pervez Musharaf promulgated the NRO to give an immediate relief and forgiveness to public office holders, who were charged in corruption cases between 1986 and 1999 under Article 5(1)(2) of (PCO) Provisional Constitutional Order. One of the most consolidate reason behind NRO was to give an immediate relief to late PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto by giving protection in all cases registered against her by Nawaz government . The NRO also protected our current President Mr. Asif Ali Zardari and Ms Bhutto against $60 million Swiss bribe and Geneva simple money laundering cases.

The case was pending in the Swiss court when General Musharaf promulgated the NRO and the government dropped all the cases in April, 2008. An accountability court also cleared Mr. Asif Ali Zardari on March 05, 2008, of five corruption charges and illegal use of property under the NRO. The Supreme Court of Pakistan on December 16, 2009, declared the (NRO) National reconciliation ordinance null and void and declared that all the cases which were active at the time of promulgation of the NRO may be reopened at the point at which they were closed.

A 17-members bench of the Apex court headed by the Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudry declared the NRO an instrument null and void because it violates the various constitutional provisions including Article 4, 8 , 25 , 62 (f) and others. The presidency of Pakistan announced that the government accepts and respects the verdict of the Supreme Court. The President enjoys the protection of Article 248 (2) of the constitution. The article 248 (2) states that “No criminal proceedings continued against the President or a governor in any court during his term of office”.

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