Pakistan Supreme Court Orders PM’s Arrest

Via the BBC:  Pakistan Supreme Court orders arrest of PM Raja Pervez Ashraf

Pakistan’s Supreme Court has ordered the arrest of PM Raja Pervez Ashraf and 15 others over corruption allegations, raising fears of a political crisis just months ahead of an election.

Mr Ashraf denies accepting bribes when approving power generation projects as minister for water and power in 2010.

Analysts say that the move is unlikely to lead to his immediate removal.


The Supreme Court order says the prime minister and the others should be arrested and produced before court within 24 hours. But analysts say the prime minister’s lawyers may find ways of delaying any appearance.

This is just another example of the ongoing tension between major institutions in Pakistan—and of the significance of the Supreme Court.

Another element:

It comes as a populist cleric led thousands of protesters in Islamabad, demanding the government resign.

Television images showed demonstrators, led by Tahirul Qadri, celebrating and triumphantly applauding as news broke of the court’s order.

The BBC’s M Ilyas Khan in Islamabad says it may just be a coincidence – but to many observers the timing of the move bolsters allegations that the cleric is backed by elements of the judiciary and military.

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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. mantis says:

    Yikes. This could get very messy.

  2. michael reynolds says:

    The Pakistani program started when Nixon was in office and went public with a bang under Bil Clinton. I remember when that test occurred thinking it was a very, very bad idea to let these people go nuclear. I couldn’t believe we let it happen. And we must have known for decades.

    Pakistan is a very dangerous mess.

  3. Rob in CT says:

    Pakistan actually scares me. I do my best not to be fearful of everything around me, but Pakistan is legitimately scary.

    Michael: let? What were we going to do, invade?

    This is the same problem we have, ultimately, with Iran.