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Pak Govt had told US no NRO beneficiary would be punished: WikiLeaks

September 13, 2011 - Karachi

The Pakistan Government had told the United States prior to the Supreme court's annulment of the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) that none would be punished, in case the verdict went against it, according to a cable unveiled by whistle-blower website WikiLeaks.

In a December 4, 2009 cable sent to Washington, the then US Ambassador Anne W. Patterson stated the details of her meetings with the Acting Attorney General, Shah Khawar and the Acting US Political Consular, The Nation reports.

It was stated in the cable that the government had not been able to make a decision for defending or otherwise of the NRO, however, it seemed that the Supreme court headed by the Chief Justice, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, would declare this ordinance null and void, the paper said.

According to the cable, the Attorney General was of the opinion that even if it happened so, President Asif Ali Zardari would enjoy the immunity, while the NRO beneficiaries would continue performing their duties.

"The cases against the beneficiaries of NRO would not get open, but if it happened so, the government would not throw any spanner," he was quoted as saying.

According to the cable, he further said that pursuing these cases would not be easy due to the lack of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutors and the courts.

The NRO was a controversial ordinance issued by the former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf on October 5, 2007 that granted amnesty to politicians, political workers and bureaucrats who were accused of corruption, embezzlement, money laundering, murder, and terrorism between January 1, 1986, and October 12, 1999, the time between two states of martial law in Pakistan.

It was declared unconstitutional by Pakistan's Supreme court on December 16, 2009, throwing the country into a political crisis.


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