Zardari arrives in Karachi 6 months after NAB arrest

Updated December 13, 2019


PPP co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari comes out of the airport in Karachi on a wheelchair. — DawnNewsTV
PPP co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari comes out of the airport in Karachi on a wheelchair. — DawnNewsTV

Former president Asif Ali Zardari arrived in Karachi on Friday evening, a day after his release on bail on the orders of the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

The PPP leader flew to Karachi from Islamabad on a special aircraft and was accompanied on the flight by Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah.

He was welcomed at the old terminal of the Quaid-i-Azam International Airport by PPP leaders, including chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, and dozens of jubilant party workers.

The former president was shifted to Bilawal House in Karachi. A six-member medical board has been constituted in Karachi for his treatment, DawnNewsTV reported.

Zardari was released from the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims), which had been declared a sub-jail, on Thursday, a day after the IHC granted him bail in the Park Lane and fake bank accounts cases on medical grounds.

The PPP leader was arrested by the National Accountability Bureau on June 10 after the cancellation of his pre-arrest bail by the IHC in the fake bank accounts case, prompting a strong reaction from the opposition and sporadic protests by PPP workers in various parts of the country, mostly in Sindh province.

Bilawal had termed his father’s arrest an act of “political victimisation” by the PTI government, and declared it a negation of Article 10-A of the Constitution that guarantees the right of fair trial to every citizen.

The IHC bench had also cancelled the bail of Zardari’s sister Faryal Talpur, a co-accused in the case, and she was also arrested a few days later.

Zardari remained in the anti-graft watchdog's custody for 68 days before being sent to Adiala jail in August on judicial remand. During his incarceration, the health of the former president started deteriorating. After a couple of months, Zardari was taken to Pims for treatment on the recommendation of a medical board. He had been under treatment at the hospital since October 22.

The case against Zardari and Talpur was originally registered with the Federal Investigation Agency and was filed before a banking court in Karachi. Later, NAB got the case transferred to its Rawalpindi directorate, a decision which was criticised by the PPP.