Zardari tells JIT he dissociated from business activity in 2008

Updated November 29, 2018

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The former president stayed with members of the JIT for about one and a half hours and answered the questions they put to him. — File
The former president stayed with members of the JIT for about one and a half hours and answered the questions they put to him. — File

KARACHI: Former president Asif Ali Zardari has told a joint investigation team (JIT) constituted by the Supreme Court to probe alleged money laundering committed by senior Pakistan Peoples Party leaders and others through fake bank accounts that he has not been involved in any business activity since 2008.

Mr Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur appeared before the JIT separately on Wednesday.

The former president stayed with members of the JIT for about one and a half hours and answered the questions they put to him, sources said.

He told the JIT members that after assuming the presidency of Pakistan in 2008, he dissociated himself from all his business and economic ventures as per the laws concerned. Since then he has not been involved in any business activity.

Bilawal likely to submit his reply to questionnaire today

Mr Zardari also claimed that after becoming president, he resigned from the position of director of the Zardari Group, one of the groups allegedly involved in the fake bank accounts case. He told the JIT that he was no longer associated with it, according to the sources. Ms Talpur appeared before the JIT some two hours before her brother did, at about noon.

According to the sources, the senior PPP lawmaker told the JIT members that their lawyer, Abu Bakar Zardari, was looking after their “legal and financial affairs”. Therefore, he would be in a better position to respond to their questions.

She left the investigators half an hour later. Subsequently, the JIT members called Abu Bakar Zardari for questioning.

According to the sources, PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari is expected to submit to the investigators on Thursday (today) a questionnaire formulated by them in connection with the same case.

On Tuesday, Mr Bhutto-Zardari’s spokesman Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar had told Dawn that the PPP chairman had received a questionnaire containing queries about his bank accounts. “Mr Bhutto-Zardari has received a questionnaire and he has to respond by Nov 29,” Mr Khokhar said.

He, however, rejected media reports that the PPP chairman had been summoned by the JIT and said he had only been asked to respond to the queries in the questionnaire.

Published in Dawn, November 29th, 2018