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Aitzaz Ahsan says Gilani 'can perform Pak PM's role even as prisoner'

June 16, 2012 - Islamabad

Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan has said that Gilani could be the chief executive of the country, even from a prison cell.

The political turmoil around Gilani's conviction in the contempt case took a humorous turn, as the Supreme Court (SC) questioned whether a convicted person could perform as the role of country's PM.

Ahsan, the premier's counsel, answered with an emphatic "yes", saying the trial bench's verdict did not amount to disqualification, The Express Tribune reports.

According to the report, Aitzaz said that one could question the moral and political status of a member of parliament who was convicted under moral turpitude like committing corruption, but there was no constitutional bar in this regard.

Aitzaz, citing Constitution articles, said that Gilani could continue performing his functions as the premier from a jail cell wearing a prisoner's uniform.

He pointed out that as per the Constitution an MP shall be disqualified if he or she has been, on conviction for any offence involving moral turpitude, sentenced to imprisonment for a term of not less than two years.

The focus of the proceedings, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, was on a question raised in identical petitions filed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz on National Assembly Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza's ruling in the case regarding the premier's disqualification.


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