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Monday, May 20, 2024

Islamabad High Court to Preside over Zardari Bail Plea

The Islamabad High Court will preside over a hearing on Former President Asif Ali Zardari's bail plea on medical grounds. He has appealed to the court to grant him a pre-arrest bail in the Park Lane corruption reference.

A division bench of the Islamabad High Court, will preside over the hearing of the petition filed by former President and co-chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Asif Ali Zardari, seeking bail on medical grounds, today (Wednesday).

Chief Justice IHC Athar Minallah and Justice Aamer Farooq will preside over the hearing. Former President Zardari, who was arrested in a billions of rupees’ worth money laundering case earlier in June, appealed to the court for a bail on Tuesday, pressing similar grounds as the former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Zardari has filed his petition over a month after Sharif’s petition, who was allowed to depart for London for his medical treatment.

Zardari’s Bail Plea

Presently admitted at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) hospital in the federal capital, Zardari filed the petition through his counsel, Farooq H Naek, nominating the Islamabad Accountability Court-II and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) as the respondents.

The petition argues that Zardari has been suffering from various illnesses, including cervical lumbar, sensory and motor neuropathy, diabetes and spondylosis, amongst others. The petition added that Zardari has a Holter monitor attached to his chest, which has allowed the doctors to examine the variations in his heartbeat, alongside the arterial blockages.

Read more: PPP does not trust Pakistani doctors: Is Zardari leaving Pakistan?

It stated that Zardari suffers from ischemic heart disease, which renders his heart incapable to obtain a sufficient supply of oxygen and blood. The petition also added that Zardari has a low platelet count and his struggle with arthritis makes it difficult for him to undergo a treatment inside the premises of a jail.

The petition stated, as circulating on media, “The petitioners’ condition makes it evident that his continued incarceration would prove detrimental to his life.” It added that the PPP Co-Chairman is indeed with constant medical attention, and given his deteriorating health condition, his life is at stake.

The petitioner notes that Zardari has been imprisoned since October 22, 2019, however, his condition shows no signs of improvement. “The petitioner has spent his entire life in the service of the people of Pakistan and has struggled so much for Pakistan that he has lost his health in the process.”

The petition also claims that Zardari is has become a target of politically-motivated victimization, and has been incriminated under fabricated and baseless cases. In light of all these claims, former President has appealed to the court to grant him post-arrest bail in the Park Lane corruption case on medical grounds.

Read more: PPP leader Aitzaz Ahsan has said Asif Ali Zardari is “Iron Man”

Faryal Talpur, Zardari’s sister, who has also been imprisoned in the same corruption reference, has also sought bail from the court. Talpur claims that since her arrest by the accountability watchdog on June 14, the NAB officials have failed to bring forward tangible evidence against her during a five-month investigation. She appealed to the court against leaving her at the mercy of the jail personnel.

Earlier, Zardari’s petition seeking transfer to Karachi for his medical treatment was rejected by an accountability court. His counsel, Sardar Latif Khosa had appealed to the court to shift the case to Karachi so the former president can access facilities and doctors who are familiar with his medical history.