Islamabad: Pakistan Tehreek-i Insaaf (PTI) chief and former Pakistan cricket team captain Imran Khan came out strongly against Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani on Monday, saying that he must step down immediately. Khan was speaking in the aftermath of the Pakistan Supreme Court indicting Gilani for contempt of court over his failure to act on its orders against President Asif Ali Zardari in money laundering cases.
"PM Gilani must step down immediately. Both President (Asif Ali) Zardari and Gilani are corrupt," said Khan.
"The problem in Pakistan is that there is no democracy here. There is no genuine opposition in Pakistan," he added.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif said that the Zardari-led PPP government had made a mockery of democracy in the country.
"What is the harm in writing a letter to the Swiss government?" Sharif asked. He was referring to the crores of money allegedly stashed away in Swiss banks by Pakistan politicians. "This money is the people's money and should be brought back. It's only if this letter is writen that the money can be returned. Why is the government scared of writing this letter?" he argued.
"Is the government's committment towards the people or with those who looted this country? The PM should think this through and decide which way he should go," he said.
Gilani was indicted by the Supreme Court on Monday for contempt of court for refusing to open the corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari. The chargesheet against him said that he did not implement paragraph 178 of NRO (National Reconciliation Commission) verdict spreading over two pages.
Gilani is the first Prime Minister to have been indicted by the SC. Seven judges of the Pakistan SC signed the chargesheet.
Gilani denied the charges against him and challenged his indictment.
Gilani's lawyer told the court that the PM will not appear before it till February 17. Gilani asked for time saying he was busy till February 17.
The next hearing in the contempt case against Gilani is on February 22 and the Defence lawyer has been asked to present evidence in court on February 27. Gilani has been exempted from personal appearance in court in the next hearing.