LARKANA: The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) on Wednesday rejected “unilateral accountability” and a joint investigation team (JIT) report on money laundering in the fake bank accounts case and warned that such actions might lead to dangerous results.

The stance was reiterated at a meeting of the PPP Central Executive Committee jointly presided over by party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari at Naudero House on the eve of Benazir Bhutto’s 11th death anniversary.

Talking to reporters after the meeting, PPP leader Farhatullah Babar said the CEC had rejected the accountability targeting the party leadership as well as the JIT report recently submitted to the Supreme Court. He said the PPP leaders and workers had been asked to be ready and wait for the leadership’s instructions regarding an anti-government campaign if an unforeseen situation develops.

The meeting took stock of the prevailing situation in the country. PPP legal wizards Farooq H. Naek and Latif Khosa briefed the party’s highest forum on the JIT report and different cases against the leadership. Taj Haider, who heads the committee constituted to prepare a report on rigging in the general elections, briefed the committee on the draft of the white paper.

Farhatullah Babar said the CEC discussed the ongoing ‘unilateral’ process of accountability in the name of corruption and termed it political victimisation.

He said the meeting had warned the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government that the outcome of such actions would be dangerous for which it would be solely responsible. He said the CEC had also warned that any move to roll back the 18th Constitution Amendment and the National Finance Commission award would have serious consequences.

Mr Babar said that due to overstepping and interference by some state institutions in the affairs of others the atmosphere was moving towards what he called the presidential form of government.

He said the CEC called for an amendment to the suo motu law and presenting a fresh legislation in parliament in this regard as presently no legal remedy [right to appeal] was available against the punishment handed down under suo motu.

The meeting reiterated the demand for creating a southern province in Punjab and criticised the government for its failure to take any step so far in this direction.

“We respect the court. We don’t want clash with anyone. Our legal team is ready to file a reply to the JIT report in the court,” Mr Babar said.

PPP senior leader Qamar Zaman Kaira said federal minister Faisal Vawda and others had spoken against the 18th Amendment. He said the JIT report was not a decision; it was just an investigating report that might be right or wrong. He asked who would be responsible for damaging the political credibility of those named in the JIT report when they would stand exonerated.

Senator Sherry Rehman criticised the PTI government’s performance and said it was just covering up its failure.

Published in Dawn, December 27th, 2018

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