Yousuf Raza Gilani

Yousuf Raza Gilani

27 April 2012. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was judged to be in contempt of court on Thursday but will not serve a jail term, state media reported. The charges stem from his refusal to reopen a corruption probe against President Asif Ali Zardari. The prime minister has maintained that the president enjoys immunity under the Pakistani constitution.

The question now is whether he will be disqualified from office, which would add to political instability in a country already troubled by Al-Qaeda and Taliban violence.

Under Pakistan’s constitution anyone convicted of defaming or ridiculing the judiciary is barred from being an MP, but legal experts say the process to disqualify Gilani could be a lengthy one, involving the parliamentary speaker and the Election Commission.

“For reasons to be recorded later Prime Minister and chief executive Yousuf Raza Gilani is found guilty and convicted for contempt of court,” Justice Nasir ul Mulk, the head of the seven-judge Supreme Court bench, said.

Here is a video: Inside Story – Tackling corruption or a power struggle?

Opposition leader Imran Khan is contemplating a “tsunami march” if the Supreme Court’s decisions are “not respected” following the conviction of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani for contempt of court.