Money laundering case We never asked to place Zardari, Faryal on ECL: SC


Babar Anwar
Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Thursday directed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) not to summon the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur until after elections.
The CJP said this while presiding over a three member bench of Supreme Court (SC) during the course of hearing of Rs35 billion money laundering case.
Moreover, the CJP also remarked that the court has not issued orders of placing name of Zardari and Faryal on Exit Control List (ECL) as the duo is not accused persons.
On Wednesday, Zardari and Faryal had informed the FIA in Karachi that they would reply to its notice in the scam after the July 25 election.
During the course of the hearing, the CJP maintained that the court respects the dignity of the individual and will not allow anyone to humiliate it. “We have not asked to put name of Asif Zardari and Faryal Talpur on ECL,” said the CJP and questioned the concerned authorities why their names were placed on ECL as court had ordered to put only accused on ECL.
Counsel for Zardari, Aitzaz Ahsan said that order in this regard was issued mentioned in paragraph No 4. However, it only contains the accused persons and of Zardari or Faryal.
Meanwhile, Aitzaz requested the court to change head of FIA investigation team Najaf Mirza, however, this plea was rejected by the court.
CJP remarked “We want to investigate as to why bogus accounts of Rs35 billions were opened. Who put Rs15 million in the accounts of Zardari group,” said Justice Nisar and asked for the sources.
The court while restraining FIA to include Asif Zardari and Faryal in the investigation till elections adjourned the hearing of the case till August 6.
Rejecting all allegations levelled against him, former president Zardari said that he was served a notice of Rs1.5 billion however, it has reached to Rs35 billion now.
In an exclusive interview with a private television channel ahead of a general election on July 25, the PPP leader suggested it “isn’t the time” to hold politicians accountable its election time.”
The PPP leader also ruled out that his party plans to boycott elections. “Election boycott is no solution to the prevailing issues. PPP won’t boycott elections,” he said.
Moreover, Zardari said opposition has to exist for a government to function in a democratic setup, hinting at forming an alliance to create a coalition government in case a hung parliament emerges.
“Whoever forms government (after July 25) has to engage (the) People’s Party,” he added. “Whatever may be the case, we won’t let democracy derail.”
Asked about the court ruling that sentenced former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to 11 years in prison, Zardari said circumstances will decide the fate of the politics of the PML-N supremo.
Dismissing all corruption references against him, the former president expressed reservation over the inclusion of military men in joint investigation teams.
“I believe no JIT should have anyone nominated by the military. JITs formed against me have had army men,” he said.

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