ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has filed an application with the Supreme Court, urging the live telecast of proceedings regarding the review of former PM Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s death sentence.
A larger nine-member bench of the Supreme Court is scheduled to begin hearing the longstanding presidential reference on Tuesday (December 12 – tomorrow) concerning the reconsideration of the 1979 contentious death sentence imposed on the PPP founder.
Initiated on April 2, 2011, by former president Asif Ali Zardari, the reference aimed to seek the court’s opinion on re-examining the death sentence given to the former premier using the Supreme Court’s advisory jurisdiction.
Yesterday, Faisal Kareem Kundi, the Information Secretary of PPP, expressed the party’s request for live streaming of the proceedings to ensure that both the nation and the world witness justice being served for Bhutto.
On behalf of Bilawal, his plea for live streaming of the court proceedings was presented by Farooq H Naek in the Supreme Court on Monday, appealing for permission to broadcast the proceedings in line with the principles of justice.
Prior to the hearing on the presidential reference, Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari expressed the party’s anticipation of receiving “justice.” During a workers’ convention in Kohat, Bilawal highlighted the long-awaited hearing of the reference. He mentioned the party’s expectation from Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa, hoping that he would take the opportunity to rectify the stains on his institutions and the court associated with this tragic incident.
“We anticipate rectification of the constitutional and legal errors made by the apex court,” Bilawal stated.
Bilawal emphasized that the court’s role shouldn’t be confined to delivering a verdict since “the entire nation knows that Bhutto was innocent.” He urged the court to identify those directly involved, including ex-military dictator Ziaul Haq, judges, lawyers, and politicians, as well as their accomplices.
“We seek justice,” Bilawal affirmed. Furthermore, he stressed the importance of historical justice by shedding light on the “conspiracy” that led to Bhutto’s execution.
As per Article 186(1) and (2) of the Constitution, which empowers the president to refer significant public matters to the Supreme Court for opinion, Asif Zardari approached the Supreme Court.
An 11-judge bench, led by the then Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, conducted the last hearing on the reference in January 2012.
In March 1978, a four-member bench of the Lahore High Court had sentenced Bhutto to death, a decision that was later contested in the Supreme Court.