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Pak Law Minister resigns, to plead Zulfikar Bhutto retrial case


April 13, 2011 - Islamabad

Pakistan's Law Minister Babar Awan has presented his resignation to the Supreme court in order to plead the retrial case of former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

During the Wednesday hearing, Awan requested for arguing the retrial case on behalf of the federation, and presented his resignation from the ministerial post to the Supreme court to fully qualify himself for appearing as a lawyer in the case.

"I prefer this case to my portfolio as the minister," Samaa TV quoted Awan, as replying to Pakistan Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry when told he (Awan) couldn't pursue the case as a minister.

"My arguments are based on facts, not sentiments," he added.

CJP Chaudhry appreciated Awan's move, and termed the gesture as "historic."

"We all are serious and giving this case great importance," the chief justice said.

Pakistan Peoples' Party's Senator Nayyar Bukhari also appreciated the gesture from the law minister, and said that Awan had fulfilled the judicial requirements by resigning from his post.

The apex court is set to give its opinion on a presidential reference for revisiting the death sentence passed against Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1979.

Earlier this month, President Asif Ali Zardari had sent a reference to the Supreme court, seeking its opinion on revisiting the 1979 conviction, which the ruling PPP says led to the "judicial murder" of Pakistan's first elected prime minister Bhutto at the behest of the then military dictator, General Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq.

ANI

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