Zardari, Bilawal and CM Murad Shah among 172 fake accounts case suspects placed on ECL

Published December 28, 2018
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto and former president Asif Zardari are included in the list of people placed on ECL list. — File photo
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto and former president Asif Zardari are included in the list of people placed on ECL list. — File photo

A list of 172 people named in a joint investigation team's (JIT) report regarding the fake accounts case, who have been placed on the Exit Control List (ECL), was acquired by DawnNewsTV on Friday.

Warning: learning curve ahead

The list includes the names of well-known politicians, public servants, lawmakers, businessmen, bankers and public servants. Some prominent names include:

  • Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, PPP chairman and MNA
  • Asif Ali Zardari, MNA and PPP co-chairman
  • Faryal Talpur, MPA and PPP leader
  • Murad Ali Shah, Sindh chief minister
  • Qaim Ali Shah, MPA and former Sindh chief minister
  • Abdul Ghani Majeed, Omni Group
  • Anwar Majeed Khawaja, Omni Group
  • Muhammad Arif Khan, Omni Group
  • Ali Kamal Majeed, Omni Group
  • Khawaja M. Salman Younis, Omni Group chief officer
  • Nimr Majid Khawaja, Omni Group
  • Malik Riaz, Bahria Town CEO
  • Ahsan Raza Durrani, Summit Bank president
  • Hussain Lawai, Summit Bank president
  • Bilal Shaikh, Sindh Bank president
  • Ahsan Tariq, Sindh Bank president
  • Syed Ali Raza, National Bank of Pakistan president
  • Ali Azeem Ikram, SECP executive director

Earlier this week, a JIT probing money laundering of billions of rupees through fake bank accounts told the Supreme Court that a close nexus had been found between a troika of Zardari Group, Bahria Town and Omni Group. In a report, submitted to a two-judge bench headed by the chief justice, revealed that at least 29 bank accounts had been identified as fake which had been used for money laundering of Rs42 billion.

The top court had ordered the Zardari Group, Omni Group, Bahria Town, Faryal Talpur and others, including contractors/builders, to file their comments on the JIT report by the next hearing, that will be held on Dec 31.

Yesterday, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry had announced in a press conference that the federal cabinet had decided to place all 172 of the suspects named in a joint investigation team's report in the fake bank accounts case on the ECL.

Chaudhry explained that the decision was taken because "this money belongs to the people of Pakistan".

Not scared of 'revenge': PPP

PPP leader Sherry Rehman, in reaction to the placement of the names of her party's chairperson and co-chairperson on the ECL, accused the government of exacting "revenge".

In a media statement, Rehman expressed "grave reservations" on the decision and said that the PPP was "not scared of such conspiracies and media trials".

The senator regretted that the names of Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and Asif Ali Zardari were placed on the ECL "on the day of Benazir's death anniversary". She said that the "tradition" of placing the names of lawmakers on ECL was "undemocratic".

Rehman termed the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) as Tehreek-i-Intiqaam (movement for revenge) and said that the government's aim was not to serve people but to exact political revenge. She accused the PTI of "paralysing the Sindh government" and wondered if the party was "scared of a seasoned man (Bilawal)".

She warned that if the PTI government does not "learn to differentiate between accountability and revenge", it will have to face consequences.

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