LFP Congratulates the Nation for the Anti-Corruption Verdict

LFP has welcomed the December 16 (the day Pakistan was dismembered 38 years ago) decision of Supreme Court on the NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance); and has called it a landmark judgment and the first step toward a corruption-free country.

The Order means that the NRO never existed. Consequently, all the cases that were withdrawn, the investigations that were prematurely ended, and the convictions that were set aside as a result of the NRO have returned to their pre-Oct 5, 2007 status.

LFP has always condemned the NRO at all the forums as it smacked of inequality and injustice and a breeding ground for corruption. The law had reinforced the idea of privileged classes in our polity.

LFP however has expressed the apprehension that the NRO-related cases and investigations may not lead to convictions as the corrupt remain at the helm of affairs and are part of the government. The prosecution thus may not show keenness to pursue the cases with vigor.

There is little doubt that the court has demonstrated a fair and just interpretation of the law and the Constitution. All the NRO beneficiaries have consistently put forward the defence that the cases and investigations against them were politically motivated and have no basis in fact. So now it is incumbent upon them to come forward and prove their innocence in a court of law. There is no dictator on the scene, no kangaroo courts, no government that is bent on eliminating its rivals politically — in short, there is no excuse for the defendants to avoid seeking what they have claimed justice ought to give them. LFP would also like to know from them as to where have they all acquired the money even if the cases were politically motivated.

LFP has said that it is sadly a State failure that no reliable mechanism of adjudicating corruption has been ensured in the system. We must now acknowledge that our system promotes corruption in each class and cadre, and we must deter that activity by mutual political will.

LFP has called for the need for Pakistan to install a mechanism of transparent accountability and all cases relating to corruption should be presented to that body for a fair assessment and adjudication.