Authorities will have to prove I deposited money into fictitious bank accounts: Zardari

Updated 14 Nov 2018

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Pakistan Peoples Party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari. —File photo
Pakistan Peoples Party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari. —File photo

PPP-Parliamentarians President Asif Ali Zardari on Thursday said the authorities will have to "prove that [he] went to open fictitious bank accounts in the name of some milkman or sweetmeat seller, only then can a case be registered against [him]", Geo News reported.

Talking to Geo News, Zardari continued by saying: "Even then, I can defend the case: 'Yes I have deposited money in this account, it is my wish'."

When the show host, Hamid Mir, repeated the same for clarification and asked the former president, "What about the poor fellow who has no idea about any of this?", Zardari responded by saying: "Then it is his fault."

Stunned by the response, when Mir inquired to be sure: "It is his fault?", Zardari replied with a quick: "It is the bank's fault."

The Supreme Court on September 6 had formed a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe alleged laundering of billions of rupees through fake bank accounts in connivance with bankers and others to several suspected beneficiaries, including former president Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur.

Zardari, Talpur and several of their business associates are currently being probed as part of a 2015 case regarding fake accounts and fictitious transactions — which were initially found to have totalled Rs35 billion — conducted through 29 ‘benami’ accounts in Summit Bank, Sindh Bank, and UBL.

As the conversation turned to the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) and the prime minister's recent speech where he had vowed "no corrupt person will get an NRO", Zardari quipped: "He [PM Imran Khan] has a habit of saying things."

When Mir remarked in a questioning tone: "[Has he] gone too far and said too much?", Zardari responded by reiterating that the prime minister "is habitual of saying too much".

"We had told him to behave like an executive and to desist from opposition politics and let us worry about the opposition," Zardari told Mir.