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Faisal Abidi lashes out at Arsalan and judiciary

August 06, 2012

ISLAMABAD, Aug 5: Firebrand Senator Faisal Raza Abidi distributed at a press conference here on Sunday copies of the bank statements of a company, ‘F&A Enterprises’, allegedly owned by Arsalan Iftikhar Chaudhry, son of the chief justice, carrying the address of his official residence.

The senator, who was accompanied by some office-bearers of the People’s Lawyers’ Forum, alleged that a transaction of Rs10 million had taken place through Silkbank (Account 011041739201) in the name of an information technology company owned by Arsalan Iftikhar and the bank statement showed the address: “F & A Enterprises, Chief Justice House, Islamabad”. He also distributed a document showing Arsalan Iftikhar’s signature as the chief executive of the company.

Senator Abidi claimed that PPP stalwart Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan had not only informed the chief justice about his son’s links with property tycoon Malik Riaz, but had also brought to his notice that Arsalan’s bank accounts carried the address of CJ’s official residence.

The senator announced that he would soon visit London and Dubai to collect more evidence against Arsalan Iftikhar and to prove how he had started transferring money in the name of his maternal uncle.

He said he would hold another news conference before Eid to present more details about contracts awarded to the IT company allegedly owned by Arsalan Iftikhar.

He said the person who used to do a job some five years back now owned billions of rupees.

The PPP senator, who said he was speaking in his personal capacity and as a member of parliament, made a scathing attack on the chief justice and judges and said he was willing to be summoned by the apex court over his remarks.

Criticising the Supreme Court for nullifying the recently-passed contempt of court law, the senator termed it part of a plan to pitch two state institutions against each other.

Senator Abidi said that while contempt cases against a number of people, including PPP leaders Babar Awan, Sharjeel Memon and Taj Haider, were pending the court had hurriedly convicted a prime minister and sent him home.

The senator disclosed that former Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) chief Shuja Pasha had said during an in-camera briefing to parliament that the army had arrested 922 Taliban and terrorists red-handed during military operations and all of them had been released by courts.

Accusing the judiciary of showing bias, Senator Abidi showed a copy of a verdict (PLD 2000) of a Supreme Court bench that included Chief Justice Chaudhry which had validated the 1999 military coup of Gen Musharraf on the basis of allegations that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was involved in Rs6 billion money laundering. He asked why the court was not taking any step to bring this money back to the national exchequer and was only interested in Rs1.5bn allegedly lying in the Swiss accounts of President Asif Zardari.

He said there were 2.1 million cases pending in the courts when the present judges were restored and now the number had increased to over 2.3 million.

He clarified that he was addressing the press conference in his personal capacity as a member of parliament.

PARTY VERSION: When contacted, Presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar said he had not followed the news conference and, therefore, could not comment.

However, he said, the PPP had already presented its viewpoint on the SC judgment and the role of judiciary through official handouts. He said despite having reservations the PPP had always used decent language while discussing the role of the judiciary.