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PPP refutes terror-funding allegations, calls for transparent probe

Updated August 27, 2015

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PPP has been on the front-line in the war against terror, “how can you say it is involved in terror financing?" —DawnNews screengrab
PPP has been on the front-line in the war against terror, “how can you say it is involved in terror financing?" —DawnNews screengrab

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) on Thursday strongly refuted the impression it was involved in terror financing, saying the party had itself suffered huge losses in the fight against terrorism.

Addressing a press conference on Thursday, the party’s senior vice president Sherry Rehman said the PPP has always been on the front-line in the war against terror.

“How can you say that PPP is involved in terror financing?”

Presenting her party’s stance after a federal anti-corruption court issued non-bailable warrants for the arrest of PPP leaders Yousuf Raza Gilani and Makhdoom Amin Fahim, and Dr Asim Hussain's 90-day remand in Rangers custody, Rehman said:

“Yousuf Raza Gilani has always presented himself before the court even when he was holding the office of prime minister.”

PPP has always respected the judiciary and will not carry out action that hampers the current democratic setup in the country, she said.

Talking about the ongoing anti-corruption drive in Sindh, Rehman clarified that the “PPP has no objection whatsoever over the operation and will create no hurdle in its implementation”.

But she said “it looks like politics of revenge is being carried out with the PPP as the sole target.”

“We will keep alive our tradition of struggle for democracy and will face every atrocity,” said the PPP vice president.

She went on to raise concerns over the timing of the recent legal actions against PPP leaders, adding that these came at a time when “party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is carrying out a campaign to mobilise party workers.”

“The timing of all these actions is a bit of concern for us.”

“We are not afraid of the actions being carried out against us and are willing to present ourselves before the courts, but the investigations should be carried out in a transparent manner,” she stressed.

There are laws and regulations to try white-collar crimes and corruption, said Rehman, adding that “laws made to try terrorists should not be used to against political leaders.”

Meanwhile, PPP Secretary Information Qamar Zaman Kaira expressed his amazement over the developments, saying “the only party in Pakistan that took a stand against terrorists and sacrificed its leaders in the process is now being labelled as a terrorist party.”

“We are okay with the investigations carried out against out party members but any allegations related to terror financing are unacceptable,” he asserted.

On Wednesday, in what has been described as the first major action against the PPP leadership during the ongoing Karachi operation, Dr Asim Hussain, a former federal minister and close aide to former president Asif Ali Zardari, was taken into custody.

While the National Accountability Bureau denied having anything to do with Dr Hussain’s detention, Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Khurshid Shah condemned the arrest.

The action came a day after Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif had directed the authorities to break the “evil nexus between terrorism, criminal mafias, violence and corruption” to achieve the objective of ensuring a peaceful and terror-free Karachi.