Islamabad, April 26 (IANS) The federal cabinet Thursday stood by Yousuf Raza Gilani whom the Supreme Court convicted for contempt of court, saying there was no need for the prime minister to step down. The opposition has demanded his immediate resignation.
The cabinet decided to wait for the detailed Supreme Court verdict in the contempt case, Geo News reported.
It was decided that the case was of political nature and there was no need for Gilani to resign on moral grounds.
Gilani was Thursday convicted for contempt of court and awarded a symbolic sentence of about 30 seconds by the Supreme Court for refusing to write to the Swiss authorities to reopen a corruption case against President Asif Ali Zardari.
The conviction led to calls from the opposition for Gilani's ouster.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif said Gilani should step down from his position after being convicted by the apex court.
Nawaz Sharif said Gilani should pave way for a new elected prime minister.
"In light of the verdict, I think PM Gilani should resign immediately rather than prolong the issue," he was quoted as saying.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader and former cricketer Imran Khan too said that Gilani should promptly resign.
Imran wrote on Twitter: "After SC judgement PM has lost whatever shred of legal & moral authority he had. He must resign immed & ECP must notify his 5 year disqual."
Federal Law Minister Farooq Naek and Attorney General Irfan Qadir briefed the cabinet in the meeting that was held after Gilani's conviction.
Gilani, who chaired the emergency meeting of the federal cabinet to review implications of the court's verdict, said he has never insulted the courts.
The ministers welcomed the premier with the thumping of desks.
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