Zardari’s role in eight out of 36 cases established, claims NAB

Published May 15, 2019
According to the National Accountability Bureau, Asif Zardari's role has been established in eight of the 36 cases against him. ─ Online/File
According to the National Accountability Bureau, Asif Zardari's role has been established in eight of the 36 cases against him. ─ Online/File

ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) is proceeding against former president and co-chairperson of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Asif Ali Zardari in 36 cases out of which the bureau claims his role has so far been established in at least eight cases.

NAB on Tuesday submitted the list of all the inquiries, investigations and references against Mr Zardari in the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

The bureau, in response to a petition filed by Mr Zardari in the IHC seeking details of the cases being pursued by NAB against him, submitted an 11-page report to the court.

As per the NAB list, Mr Zardari’s role has been established in eight cases.

According to the list, NAB has issued arrest warrants for the former president only in the Park Lane case, while it has filed two interim references against him.

Anti-graft watchdog submits list of all inquiries, investigations and references against PPP co-chairman in IHC

The interim references have been filed against illegal award of contracts by the Sindh government’s Special Initiative Department. Another reference is based on the FIR registered by the Federal Investigation Agency on June 7, 2018 in connection with fake accounts.

The remaining five inquires relate to the misappropriation of cane growers’ subsidy, taking vehicles from Tosha Khana and paying their import duties from fake accounts, transactions of Rs8.3 billion from Bahria Town through fake accounts and receiving kickbacks in JV Opal by the Zardari Group.

In addition, the bureau stated before the IHC that it had so far filed three more references in the fake bank accounts case. However, Mr Zardari has not been nominated as accused in these cases.

The 22 inquiries in which NAB suspects possible role of Mr Zardari are also related to the import of duties of the vehicles from fake accounts, illegal subsidy to captive power plants, misappropriation in cane growers subsidy for the period of 2014-2015, misappropriation in Sindh Tractor subsidy, extending illegal favours to Technomen Power project, overvaluation of power projects, illegal creation and expansion of Summit Bank, selling of Thatta and Dadu sugar mills, corruption in revival of sick industrial units in Sindh, illegal awards of contracts, extending loans from National Bank, Summit Bank and Sindh Bank to Omni Group, Pakistan Steel Mills land, acquisition of land through private firms, JV Opal and illegal acquisition of Thatta Cement.

NAB also provided a list of the cases pending before the IHC. Most of these cases are those in which accused persons, including Mr Zardari, his sister Faryal Talpur, Hussain Lawai, Anwar Majeed and family as well as other accused sought bail from the court.

According to the details, in the fake bank accounts case registered with the FIA in June last year, 11 petitions have so far been filed, including eight seeking pre-arrest bail by Mr Zardari, Ms Talpur and others, one seeking information about cases by Khawaja Nimar Majeed and two post arrest bails by Hussain Lawai and Taha Raza.

In the illegal allotment of amenity plots, three accused filed bail pleas. In Pink Residency reference four accused are seeking pre arrest bail.

Five accused persons in the reference regarding illegal award of contract by Special Initiative Department Sindh, five accused persons seeking bail.

Moreover, as per NAB’s report, there are 12 different petitions in which Mr Zardari, Ms Talpur, Qaim Ali Shah and others are seeking bail from the IHC.

NAB’s deputy prosecutor general Sardar Muzaffar Ahmed Khan filed the report before the IHC.

In the report, NAB informed the court that “in compliance with the direction dated April 29, 2019, a list of inquiries/investigations wherein the role of the petitioner Asif Ali Zardari has been surfaced till date along with status of issuance of warrants of arrest is attached.”

The bureau stated, “it is pertinent to mention that the inquiries / investigations pertaining to fake bank accounts scam are being conducted by NAB on the direction of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of Pakistan and not with any predetermined mind.”

Published in Dawn, May 15th, 2019

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