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Pakistan attorney general resigns

April 02, 2010 19:20 IST

Pakistan's Attorney General Anwar Mansoor Khan resigned on Friday citing "lack of cooperation" from the Law Minister, a day after he accused him of obstructing efforts to implement the Supreme Court's order to reopen graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari in Switzerland.

Khan, who sent his resignation to the President, told the media he was quitting due to "lack of cooperation" from the Law Minister Babar Awan and his ministry.

He said the minister and the ministry were creating obstructions in his work.

Khan on Thursday told an apex court bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry that he was facing "obstacles" in reopening the cases in Switzerland and that he was not being allowed to work properly.

Khan said he had not been provided many documents he required by the law ministry.

On being asked by the judges who was creating the obstructions, Khan named the law ministry, Law Secretary Aqil Mirza and Law Minister Awan, a close aide of Zardari.

Law Secretary Mirza subsequently appeared in the court and denied Khan's allegations.

Sources said Khan and the Law Minister had been engaged in a confrontation for some time.

Khan had told aides that the minister was interfering in the working of the Attorney General's office and that he had brought this to the notice of the prime minister, the sources said.

The apex court is currently hearing a suo moto case on the implementation of its verdict for reopening anti-corruption cases that were quashed under the now defunct National Reconciliation Ordinance, a graft amnesty that was issued by former military ruler Pervez Musharraf in 2007.

The court struck down the NRO in December last year.

Since then, it has pressed the government to reopen graft cases against Zardari.

The court on Thursday gave the government time till April 5 to reopen the graft cases in Switzerland.

Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad
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