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Why Should Asif Ali Zardari be arrested? NAB tells IHC


News Analysis |

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has submitted some ‘important’ reasons before the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to justify its plan to arrest Asif Ali Zardari, former President and co-chairman Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). The IHC had on Wednesday extended Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur’s interim bails till April 29 and directed the NAB to furnish details of ongoing and pending inquiries against the PPP leader.

The NAB expressed its reservations that Mr. Zardari ‘may tamper records’ if not taken into custody. Furthermore, it accused Mr. Zardari of not cooperating with the investigation team. “NAB has collected documentary evidence in accordance with the law,” it added. “However, it is the petitioner that is not cooperating with NAB. Moreover, the petitioner remained at influential positions. Therefore, tampering of evidence on his part cannot be ruled out.”

A day earlier, while addressing a crowd in Ghotki, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari reiterated that his party would take it the streets if Government rolls back the 18th amendment.

According to the anti-corruption watchdog, Zardari fraudulently obtained Rs1.5 billion in loans for his Park Lane Company through other firms. The bureau has alleged that Zardari, in connivance with former prime minister and fellow party leader Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani, illegally obtained three luxury bullet-proof cars, two BMWs and one Toyota Lexus from the Toshakhana (the state gift repository), which were gifted by the governments of UAE and Libya.

Mr. Zardari is accused of misuse of authority which resulted in a heavy loss to the national exchequer. Zardari has threatened the sitting government that he will topple it. Analysts believe that when Zardari saw that diplomatic channels were not workable he decided to confront PTI by threats of long march. On the other hand, Prime Minister Imran Khan has invited Asif Zardari and his son to Islamabad. “I invite you and your son: come and stage a dharna in Islamabad,” the prime minister said, adding that he will not only arrange containers for the PPP leaders but also provide them food.

Read more: Zardari siblings in trouble as accused get ready to blow the…

PM Khan categorically said that the PPP leadership was struggling to seek a deal or NRO to evade corruption proceedings pending before the courts. “The real issue is that they are pressuring us so that we give them an NRO [National Reconciliation Ordinance-like deal] for the money they have laundered out of the country,” Khan alleged.

Former President is facing two cases at the moment. In disqualification case filed by PTI’s Khurram Sher Zaman, Zardari is alleged to have concealed details pertaining to ownership of an apartment in New York City, United States, in the nomination papers filed ahead of the general elections.

It is also pertinent to mention here that an accountability court will hear the reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in fake accounts on 19th April.

He also failed to disclose two bulletproof vehicles, thus violating Article 62(f)(i) of the Constitution and Section 231 of the Election Act 2017, petitioner maintained. He alleged that both the apartment and the armoured vehicles were not disclosed in Form B of the nomination papers filed by Zardari on July 6, 2018, as a candidate for NA-213. The court has issued the notices to the former President.

A day earlier, while addressing a crowd in Ghotki, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari reiterated that his party would take it the streets if Government rolls back the 18th amendment. Bilawal has been very active lately, addressing gatherings, lamenting government; however, he has not replied to NAB queries in the fake account case yet.

Read more: PPP workers clash with police as Bilawal, Zardari arrive at NAB…

It is also pertinent to mention here that an accountability court will hear the reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in fake accounts on 19th April.

Research & writing by Farah Adeed with editing and additional inputs by Sana Mushtaq at the GVS News Desk.

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