Continued from page 1

The tussle with the U.S. has come at a time of domestic turmoil in Pakistan. The Supreme Court has vowed to charge Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani with contempt for failing to reopen an old corruption case against the president. If convicted, the premier could serve up to six months in jail and be disqualified from holding public office.

Mr. Gilani’s lawyer, Aitzaz Ahsan, appealed the court’s plan to charge his client on Wednesday.

A defendant can appeal a contempt charge in Pakistan before the case goes to trial.

The government long has refused a Supreme Court order to write to Swiss authorities to reopen a corruption case against President Asif Ali Zardari that dates back to the late 1990s. Officials have argued that the president has immunity from prosecution while in office.

Associated Press writers Rasool Dawar in Peshawar, Pakistan, and Zarar Khan in Islamabad contributed to this report.