Government faces legal challenges

Government faces a day of legal challenges on Monday, with two court hearings that could pave the way to unseating the leadership and forcing early elections.

Supreme Court judges are to hear a long-running Swiss corruption case. The commission, set up on December 30 following a demand from the country’s top intelligence officer, is to hear from the government on Monday and should return its findings later in the month on whether Islamabad endorsed the note.

On Monday, the attorney general said the commission had not obtained crucial evidence — Blackberry message data sent between ex-ambassador to Washington Husain Haqqani, and US businessman Mansoor Ijaz.

Ijaz first made the memo scandal public in a newspaper piece published in October, in which he claimed to have acted as a go-between. Haqqani denies any involvement in the note and says that Ijaz invented the entire story.

“Blackberry company has not provided the data,” Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq told reporters at Islamabad High Court. “And we have no information about Mansoor Ijaz.”

The Supreme Court will also meet to decide how to proceed on graft charges against Zardari and other lawmakers, who claim to have amnesty from prosecution in the case.

After a smaller panel of judges failed to reach a decision last week, a larger bench will convene to debate six options, which include dismissing the prime minister and holding early elections.

In the afternoon the National Assembly, the country’s legislative body, is to vote on a resolution tabled by a minor coalition party in a bid to bolster the civilian leadership amid a simmering row with the powerful army.