President Asif Ali Zardari

The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Yusuf Raza Gilani, is to appear in court for not taking up corruption charges against the President.

Mr. Gilani was ordered by the Supreme Court on Monday, 16 January 2012,  to appear before the court for failing to take up the case against the president, Asif Ali Zardari, and other officials,  on charges of corruption.

This is the latest blow to the civilian administration, which also faces pressure from the military over a memo seeking U.S. help to avert an alleged coup. President Asif Ali Zardari’s ruling party, with the help of coalition partners, pushed through a resolution Monday supporting the govrnment. Details of the final text of the reolution was not available but the resolution backed the government’s efforts to strengthen democracy.This is supposed to be a vote of confidence in the government.

Gilani told parliament, “We’re not against any institution. And we have always respected the courts.” He added “The court has summoned me. And, respecting the court, I will go there on the 19th and appear in court.”

While Gilani is the one facing a contempt hearing, most observers say the court’s real target is Zardari.