ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Thursday in a goodwill gesture observed it would facilitate Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf if he would make positive commitment on August 27 regarding writing letter to the Swiss authorities, otherwise the law would take its own course.

The court adjourned the hearing for an indefinite period, saying they could not suspend the contempt proceedings against the prime minister without concrete pledge by the government on the issue. It was made clear as Justice Asif Saeed Khosa remarked without a concrete pledge by the government on the issue, the court could not suspend the contempt proceedings.

The apex court has issued a show-cause notice to the PM for disobeying the court order and directed him to appear in person on August 27.

A five-member bench, headed by Justice Khosa, which heard review petition against the June 27 and July 12 court orders, said: “If the prime minister would say two positive words on August 27 then they would facilitate him, otherwise, the law would take its own course,” adding that no one should feel insult to appearing before the court.

Justice Khosa said: “Yesterday, we gave the observation that was purely on the basis of para 178 of the NRO judgment.”

The court directed the Federation to take immediate steps for revival of the cases in Switzerland, saying the para 178 was not against President Zardari. Justice Khosa further said it was exaggerated that the court wanted more than what was written in the NRO judgment.

Federal Minister for Law and Justice Farooq H Naek personally appeared before the court along with Attorney General Irfan Qadir to explain that the government had genuine desire to resolve the issue pertaining to writing letter to the Swiss authorities for reopening cases against the NRO beneficiaries, including President Zardari.

The attorney general, earlier, informed the court that he along with the law minister Wednesday evening held a meeting with the prime minister on the outstanding issue of implementation of NRO judgment. After a detailed discussion, it was decided to seek some time from the court to make genuine efforts for the meaningful progress.

The federal minister said the meeting was for further discussion, but Justice Khosa made it clear that they would not give time for discussion as the govt had been holding similar meetings for the last three years, but no concrete result came up.

The attorney general said Thursday was 27th of Ramzan and most of the government partners were busy in praying. He said they had to take into confidence the other persons, who were not present in the meeting.

The federal minister told the court that the decision regarding writing letter had not to be taken by one person, but with the party members and also with other coalition partners. He said his appearance before the court showed that the govt was sincere to resolve the issue. He said they did not want a clash between the institutions and to derail the democracy, which had been achieved after great sacrifices. “Institutions instead of individuals matters and we have to strengthen the country,” Naek remarked. The law minister said: “We don’t want to drag or use delaying tactics in the case and assure the court that the matter would be resolved soon.”

He requested the bench to club the issues raised in review petition with the NRO implementation case. However, Justice Khosa said they were different issues and the bench was constituted for review petition and it could not decide about the implementation matter. During the proceeding, the attorney general said: “I am thinking not to press the review petition.” Justice Khosa said they were keeping his petition and considered the points raised by him in his argument and could be used on an appropriate occasion.

The court on the request of the federal law minister and the attorney general adjourned the case for date-in-office (indefinite period).