Tags: AS | Pakistan

Report: Pakistan Voids Amnesty Covering President

Wednesday, 16 Dec 2009 12:40 PM

State-run TV and private channels are reporting that Pakistan's top court has declared that an amnesty that had protected the president from corruption charges is illegal.

Wednesday's ruling paves the way for challenges to President Asif Ali Zardari's already shaky rule. It also causes political turbulence just as the U.S. wants Islamabad to step up its fight against Taliban militants.

As president, Zardari enjoys general immunity from prosecution. But the ruling leaves thousands of other officials, including Cabinet ministers loyal to Zardari, facing reopened corruption and other criminal cases.

That prospect is sure to weaken the U.S.-backed leader, who is unpopular and under pressure to give up much of his power.

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