The Pakistan Peoples Party has called a countrywide protest demonstration hours after its Co-chairman Asif Zardari’s arrest by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Rawalpindi. Sources said directives were issued to the PPP workers and supporters to hold protest demonstrations across the country. “The PPP chairman will lead a mass contact movement,” It was also decided to take the opposition parties on board and participate in the All Parties Conference, they added.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) arrested on Monday (June 10) the former president Asif Ali Zardari from his Islamabad residence hours after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) dismissed Zardari’s ad-interim bail in the fake accounts case.
آصف علی زرداری کی گرفتاری کے مناظر ۔ ۔ pic.twitter.com/rsPUxapVYE— Mansoor Ali Khan (@_Mansoor_Ali) June 10, 2019
آصف علی زرداری کی گرفتاری کے مناظر ۔ ۔ pic.twitter.com/rsPUxapVYE
— Mansoor Ali Khan (@_Mansoor_Ali) June 10, 2019
After IHC dismissed bail plea, a large number of security personnel and senior officials reached the former president’s Islamabad residence. Reportedly, the 15-member NAB team was initially unable to enter the premises as Zardari’s legal team asked for the court order and other papers. Before making the arrest, the accountability body approached National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser to seek permission for arresting the PPP lawmaker.
Zardari, Talpur, Omni Group’s Anwar Majid and his sons, and the former Pakistan Stock Exchange chairperson Hussain Lawai are among those being investigated in a case related to money laundering of billions through fictitious bank accounts. In December 2015, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) initiated a discreet investigation into certain bank accounts through which multi-billion rupee transactions have been made after some information came to the fore when an intelligence agency picked up a prominent money changer in an unrelated case.
As per media reports, the investigators have so far identified 29 accounts which received payments, totaling at least Rs35 billion. The reports added that the probe was initially shelved but resumed almost a-year-and-a-half later with FIA’s State Bank circle initiating a formal inquiry in January 2018. By June, the FIA had several high-profile names on its list but was unable to make headway–for several reasons.
It was then the Supreme Court intervened and the then chief justice Mian Saqib Nisar took suo moto notice of the ‘slow progress’ in the money-laundering case. In July 2018, Zardari’s close aides Hussain Lawai, Taha Raza and two others were arrested. Subsequently, the first case was registered in the mega-corruption scandal.
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16 June, 2019