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PPP calls on CJP to take notice of party leadership's 'media trial'

Updated November 30, 2018

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PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur. — DawnNewsTV/File
PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur. — DawnNewsTV/File

The PPP has called on Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar to take notice of what it calls a "media trial" of the party's top leadership, allegedly at the behest of investigators probing a money laundering case.

PPP-Parliamentarians President Asif Ali Zardari, his sister Faryal 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.

While forming a joint investigation team (JIT) to probe the 'fake' accounts case, the Supreme Court had barred the probe team and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) from issuing press releases or providing information about the investigation to the media.

"Honourable SC in its order ... had clearly directed that to ensure transparent and effective inquiry, no member of the JIT or FIA will divulge any information to the media," said a statement issued by Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, the spokesperson for PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari.

"Sadly what we are seeing is that in clear violation of SC orders, sources 'within JIT' are openly being quoted on various talk shows and media outlets, to speculate on the ongoing inquiry," the statement claimed.

The PPP lawmaker said that the alleged speculation is being done with a "mala fide agenda" to malign the party's top leadership and to "create confusion in the minds of the general public".

“This raises a lot of questions on the credibility of the investigators, the conduct of the investigation and [it] seems that the outcome is already pre-determined,” Khokhar said.

He expressed the hope that Justice Nisar would take appropriate action regarding their complaint.

Zardari, his siblings and their business associates face allegations that they illegally channelled funds through the said fake accounts to launder them in connivance with the CEOs of major banks.