Hearing a case pertaining to the recovery of losses suffered by the national exchequer due to the controversial National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO), the Supreme Court on Wednesday sought details of foreign assets of former presidents Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari. The court also directed the former attorney general Justice (r) Malik Qayyum, who is said to be framer of the NRO, to furnish details of his assets. A three-member bench comprising Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Ijazul Ahsan directed the respondents to submit affidavits in the court, along with details of their personal foreign assets, those of their children, foreign bank accounts and the offshore companies, if any, by August 7. The NRO promulgated by then president Pervez Musharraf in 2007, granted amnesty to politicians, top bureaucrats and other individuals by quashing various corruption and criminal cases against them so that they could return to the country and engage in the democratic process. At the onset of hearing, the chief justice noted that the apex court needed to be taken into confidence over the ownership of foreign accounts and assets of the respondents. The court gave Musharraf two weeks to submit his reply in the case. Zardari’s senior counsel Farooq H, Naek, however, stated that amnesty scheme was not meant for the politicians. “I am not naming any political figure,” the chief justice remarked, and added that those who consider themselves big shots would be traced and apprehended. “We have to sort out all issues pertaining to corruption and no one will be exempted.” He said Musharraf and Zardari would have certainly attained benefits from the amnesty scheme. To a query by the chief justice, Farooq H Naek stated that Zardari had got benefit in eight cases under the NRO. Former president Asif Ali Zardari, last month, submitted his response to the Supreme Court in the NRO case, stating that he had no role in the controversial NRO. He had stated that cases against him were quashed in 2007 under the NRO, however, were reopened after the NRO was overruled by the apex court. He stated that he was acquitted from criminal cases in their subsequent trials. The petition seeking recovery of huge amounts of public money misappropriated and wasted by former president Pervez Musharraf, Asif Ali Zardari, former attorney general Malik Qayyum and others, under the NRO, through unlawful means ‘already on record in different judgments of the Supreme Court and high court, was filed by president Lawyers Foundation for Justice, Feroz Shah Gilani advocate in April 2018. It was contended in the petition that Musharraf subverted the constitution by declaring emergency followed by the promulgation of the NRO, through which criminal and corruption cases against politicians, including Zardari, were “arbitrarily withdrawn”, causing huge financial losses to the national kitty. Published in Daily Times, July 5th 2018.