News

    Defiant Pakistan's PM Refuses to Resign

    A supporter of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) holds an image of the Pakistan's Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani as he shouts slogans during a protest against a Supreme Court verdict in Karachi, April 26, 2012.
    A supporter of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) holds an image of the Pakistan's Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani as he shouts slogans during a protest against a Supreme Court verdict in Karachi, April 26, 2012.

    Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani is refusing to step down, a day after the Supreme Court found him guilty of contempt for not reopening corruption cases against the country's president.

    During a speech in parliament Friday, Gilani said his only crime was "protecting the constitution." He said only parliament has the authority to remove him from office, telling lawmakers he is an elected prime minister, representing Pakistan's 180 million people. Gilani challenged opposition lawmakers to bring a no-confidence vote against him.

    The Supreme Court on Thursday gave the prime minister only a symbolic sentence of less than a minute's detention, sparing him a possible jail term of up to six months. His lawyer says the conviction will be appealed.

    The court ruling triggered an immediate debate about Gilani's status as prime minister. Legal experts say the fact that he was sentenced to a prison term, even for less than a minute, makes him ineligible to sit in parliament for the next five years.

    The parliamentary speaker and election commission must now decide whether Gilani can be dismissed as a lawmaker, and thus as prime minister. On Friday, he urged the speaker, who is a fellow member of the Pakistan People's Party, to "apply your own mind" in the case.

    Opposition leaders, including former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, called on Gilani to step down, saying they will no longer accept him as the country's prime minister.

    Thursday's guilty verdict is the latest development in what has been an ongoing battle between the court and the prime minister over the status of corruption cases dating back to the 1990s.

    Prosecutors accuse President Zardari, former prime minister Benazir Bhutto and others of laundering millions of dollars through Swiss bank accounts. Bhutto, President Zardari's wife, was assassinated in 2007.

    Charges against Zardari and the others were dropped after a 2007 amnesty agreement, but the court struck down the deal in 2009 and has been battling to reopen the cases ever since.

    Prime Minister Gilani had refused to cooperate, arguing instead that the president has legal immunity while in office and that reopening the cases would be unconstitutional.

    Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: drabdulsattarbaloch
    April 29, 2012 1:19 PM
    There are 3 ugly pests & no one enemies of MAN on Earth. pakistani Army and their Criminals tributaries. like judiciary 2) Saudi & Iranian nations. The global forces should shut them in a steel wall around them. Let them prosper with their own ideologies,while rest of the world should bycott them,isolate them completely and form a world Govt.

    by: My-Vision
    April 27, 2012 11:10 AM
    From their past footprints of such political crisis (take a stand or else lean down), I can imagine he is writing a letter at the very very end of term....smart

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenyai
    X
    February 08, 2016 4:30 PM
    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video Sanders, Clinton Battle for Young Democratic Vote

    Despite a narrow loss to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in last week's Iowa Democratic caucuses, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders secured more than 80 percent of the vote among those between the ages of 18 and 29. VOA correspondent Aru Pande talks to Democrats in New Hampshire about who they are leaning towards and why in this week's primary.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.