Pakistani court gives prime minister more time to obey order

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ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan's top court today gave the country's prime minister three more weeks to decide whether to obey its order to reopen an old corruption case against the president or face the prospect of being ousted from office like his predecessor.

The decision followed an appearance by Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf before the judges and was seen as a rare conciliatory gesture by the supreme court toward the government after months of conflict over the issue.

The dispute centers on a graft case in a Swiss court against President Asif Ali Zardari dating back to the late 1990s. The Pakistani Supreme Court has demanded the government write a letter to Swiss authorities asking them to reopen the case. The government has refused, saying Zardari enjoys immunity from prosecution while in office.

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