Islamabad:  Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Tuesday named senior Pakistan People's Party leader Aitzaz Ahsan, one of the country's leading legal minds, as his lawyer for his upcoming appearance in the Supreme Court to face a contempt notice.
   
The decision was announced by the Prime Minister's House after Ahsan met Gilani this afternoon.
   
"In the meeting, it was agreed that Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan would appear in the Supreme Court of Pakistan along with the Prime Minister as his counsel on January 19," said a brief statement issued by the Premier's spokesman.
   
The Apex Court on Monday issued a notice of contempt of court to Gilani for failing to act on its orders to reopen graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari and summoned him to appear in person on January 19.
   
Gilani has already said he will appear in the court and face the judges as he respects the judiciary.
   
Ahsan, who played a key role in the movement to restore judges who were sacked by former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, was largely sidelined by the PPP over the past three years as his views on several issues differed from those of the party's top leadership.
   
The PPP's leadership has refused to act on the Apex Court's order to write to Swiss authorities to revive cases of alleged money laundering against Zardari, saying the President enjoys immunity from prosecution under the constitution.
   
However, Ahsan has argued that there would be no harm in writing to the Swiss government as the President already enjoys immunity under the Vienna Conventions.
   
During a rally held last month to mark the death anniversary of former premier Benazir Bhutto, Zardari signalled Ahsan's rehabilitation within the PPP by asking him to address the gathering after his own speech.

(Agencies)