NAB to face Pakistan Supreme Court over PM's arrest

Islamabad, Jan 17 (IANS) Officials of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) will appear before the Supreme Court Thursday following orders that Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf and 15 others be arrested in connection with a 2010 corruption case, Geo News reported.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry Tuesday ordered all those accused of graft in power generation projects be arrested. He also said that the NAB chairman report to the court.

The order, which came when cleric Tahirul Qadir began his protest with tens of thousands of supporters outside parliament seeking the government's resignation, sparked panic about an alleged judiciary-military plot to derail elections due by mid-May.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik threatened overnight to disperse the crowd unless Thehrik-e-Minhajul Quran leader Qadri ends the demonstration, but President Asif Ali Zardari later intervened to stop authorities from using force against protesters.

Last June, Ashraf replaced Yousuf Raza Gilani, who was disqualified by the Supreme Court in a showdown between the government and the judiciary.

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