ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notices to former military dictator General (r) Pervez Musharraf, PPP Co-Chairman Asif Zardari and former attorney general Malik Muhammad Qayyum on an application seeking recovery of money looted due to the promulgation of the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) 2007.

The notices were issued on a petition filed by Advocate Feroz Shah Gillani wherein the petitioner requested the top court to issue directions for recovery of the huge amount of the public money misappropriated and wasted by Musharraf, Qayyum and Zardari.

The petition, filed under Article 184(3), stated that former military ruler Pervez Musharraf subverted the Constitution with ulterior motives and promulgated the emergency followed by the NRO 2007.

The petition further stated that Musharraf arbitrarily withdrew criminal and corruption cases against politicians and others, including PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari which caused a huge financial loss to the national exchequer.

It added that a full bench of the top court in its landmark judgment of December 16, 2009 declared NRO void ab initio.

Thus the respondents Musharraf, Qayyum and Zardari are liable to compensate all the losses and damages suffered by the exchequer of debt-ridden Pakistan, including the loss of $60 million in the Swiss Banks representing the illegal funds acquired through corruption and money laundering by Asif Zardari, the petition added.

It further stated that Qayyum, who had also been a judge, while hearing the Ehtasab case against Zardari violated the Code of Conduct of the Judges by obtaining undue favours from the prosecution side getting in return diplomatic passport and other benefits for himself and his wife in clear violations of the rules.

“Judgment on the criminal appeal filed by Zardari in 2009 observed “ there is no need to advert to the audio-tapes and the transcript as there is sufficient material on record which substantiates the allegations of bias of Ehtasab bench highlighted in the preceding paragraphs, the trial of appellants vitiated,” the petition stated.

The huge sum of money of the poor country was spent by the prosecution and the NAB causing billions of rupees loss due to the gross misconduct of Qayyum.

Qayyum, as attorney general for Pakistan, had written a letter to Attorney General Geneva (Switzerland) withdrawing the criminal and civil proceedings there against Zardari regarding Rs60 million amount obtained through corruption and money laundering, it added.

The SC in its judgment of NRO stated: “as far as issuing a letter to Attorney General of Geneva dated April 7, 2008 by Malik Muhammad Qayyum Attorney General) is concerned, it seems that he had done so in his personal capacity against the Rules of Business, 1973,” the petition quoted the para from judgment. It further stated that the actions of Musharraf and Qayyum promulgating the NRO and their subsequent acts caused huge losses amounting to billions of rupees to Pakistan.

Musharraf and Qayyum wilfully violated their oath of office, as provided in the constitution, to the detriment of the country in violation of the rule of the law, in particular of Article 2, 2A, 25, 227 of the Constitution, it read.

Responsibility of the colossal financial losses to the national exchequer as described above rests fully on General (Retd) Musharraf, Qayyum and Zardari who should compensate the country by reimbursing the amount of the loss in the national exchequer, it reiterated. 

The petition prayed the court to direct the federal government and NAB to recover the huge amount of public money misappropriated and wasted through unlawful means. It further prayed to direct the relevant quarters for initiation of preliminary steps for recovery of the public money.