Islamabad: Virtually rejecting Pakistan Supreme Courtâ€™s directive to reopen graft cases against the President, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani today said he would rather go to jail for committing contempt of court than violate the Constitution.
â€œIf I write (to the Swiss authorities), then I violate the Constitution because parliament has given the President (Asif Ali Zardari) immunity in Pakistan and abroad.
â€œThe punishment for violating the Constitution is mentioned in Article 6, which is the death sentence,â€ Gilani told a gathering at Malsi in Bahawalpur district.
On the other hand, Gilani said, he had been charged with contempt for failing to act on the apex courtâ€™s order and could face a six-month prison term.
â€œTell me, should I violate the Constitution and write (to the Swiss authorities) and face the death sentence?…Which is better – a six- month jail term or the death sentence?â€ he asked.
Gilani raised the same issue while addressing students during a convocation at Bahawalpur Islamia University, and at both places the audience said he should face a six-month prison term.
His remarks marked an escalation in the standoff between the PPP-led government and the Supreme Court, which has been pushing the premier to revive cases of alleged money laundering against Zardari in Switzerland.
â€œI have already served five years in prison earlier and I can serve six more months. What difference does it make?â€ the premier told the gathering at Malsi.(KMW NEWS)