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ISLAMABAD: Former chief minister of Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah on Monday filed a petition before the Islamabad High Court (IHC), seeking pre-arrest bail in the fake accounts case.

A division bench of the IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani will hear the petition on Wednesday.

Mr Shah, who is scheduled to appear before the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Wednesday, expr­essed apprehensions that NAB officials might arrest him upon his appearance before the investigation team, and requested the IHC to grant him pre-arrest bail.

The former chief minister was named in a report by the joint investigation team tasked to probe the case. He was among 172 people named in the report and whose names were to be placed on the no-fly list.

The senior politician, in his petition, contended that he was being politically victimised through the case and claimed that he had been dragged into the case without any solid evidence.

Qaim was named in a JIT report and among 172 people whose names were to be put on the no-fly list

The petition claimed: “It seems a conspiracy is being hatched against the petitioner for involving him [Mr Shah] in criminal cases with malafide intention because he is an active leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party and it is a crude attempt by his political rivals for political victimisation.”

The former chief minister said that he had been politically active since 1960 when he was elected chairman of the Khairpur district council and then successfully contested the general elections.

According to the petition, Mr Shah participated in the movement for restoration of democracy in 1967 and won seven out of eight elections since 1988.

It stated the ex-CM had received a call from NAB officials, who directed him to appear before the court on March 27 at about 3pm.

The petitioner pleaded that he was innocent and did not commit any crime and intended to join the inquiry but under the protection of the IHC as there was serious apprehension of his arrest, adding that if the petitioner was arrested he would be subject to humiliation.

The 85-year-old former chief minister sought bail on the grounds that he was a senior citizen.

The PPP leader, in his petition, cited NAB chairman and director as well as director general of the Federal Investigation Authority as respondents.

Meanwhile, Nimar Majeed of the Omni Group has filed a petition in the IHC seeking details of the evidence against him as well as his family members on the basis of which they had been dragged into the mega money laundering case.

Mr Majeed has earlier obtained pre-arrest bail from the IHC in the fake accounts case while his spouse petitioned the IHC for placing her on the no-fly list.

The IHC bench will also take up the petition of Khawaja Abdul Ghani Majeed, the son of Omni Group tycoon Anwar Majeed, against the issuance of his arrest warrants by NAB.

According to the anti-graft watchdog, the warrants for Ghani Majeed in an illegal land allotment case were issued on Jan 28.

Ghani Majeed contended before the court that he was already under detention in Malir jail from August 2018 in a case filed by the FIA, but NAB had issued his arrest warrants for not appearing in its office.

Published in Dawn, March 26th, 2019