ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has condemned what it called unjust, brutal and callous decision of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to not allow Aseefa Bhutto-Zardari to meet her father Asif Ali Zardari who is in NAB custody.
Speaking at a press conference, PPP secretary general Farhatullah Babar, along with Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, on Wednesday said Ms Aseefa was turned back by NAB officials when she went to meet her father under court orders.
Earlier, the Accountability Court, Islamabad, had ordered NAB that Mr Zardari’s sister Azra Fazal Pechuho and his son Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and daughters Bakhtawar Bhutto-Zardari and Aseefa Bhutto-Zardari be facilitated to meet the former president on Aug 12, 13 and 14 on the occasion of Eidul Azha. Mr Zardari has been remanded in NAB custody.
“However, this afternoon, when Aseefa Bhutto-Zardari arrived at the NAB detention centre at the appointed time she was first made to shuttle from door to door before finally being told that she cannot meet her father and though she showed a copy of the court order, it was disregarded by NAB authorities who turned her back,” Mr Babar said.
“By first permitting Aseefa Bhutto-Zardari to visit her father in compliance with court orders and then, upon arrival at the detention centre, refusing her the meeting the NAB authorities have committed contempt of the court,” he added.
While condemning NAB’s “highhandedness”, he said the PPP would agitate the matter at all available forums, including the courts, the parliament and the bar of public opinion. “The audacity of power-drunk NAB officials to flout the court orders to use as a tool of political re-engineering at the behest of Prime Minister Imran Khan is shocking and will not go unchallenged.”
Mr Babar said those who thought that such shamefully strong-arm tactics would break the spirit of the Bhuttos must remember that they were not made of wood that burns easily. “Just when the nation is raising voice against the violation of human rights by India in held Kashmir such violations of the basic legal and human rights of Pakistani political prisoners only undermine a larger cause but also directly play into the hands of enemies of Pakistan.”
Published in Dawn, August 15th, 2019