NAB grills Zardari in Harish and Company case

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Basharat Raja

ISLAMABAD

Former president Asif Ali Zardari is appearing before the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) today in connection with the Harish and Company probe, which is part of its ongoing investigation in the fake accounts and money laundering case.

According to the accountability watchdog, Harish and Company had taken a contract for water supply from the Special Initiative Department of Sindh but no work was done on the project. It is further alleged that these funds were used to meet the expenses of Naudero House.

NAB officials claim that Harish and Company was the front company to Park Lane Estate which led to a loss of Rs60 million to the national exchequer.

Farooq H Naek, the lawyer for Asif Ali Zardari said his client had nothing to do with Harish and Company. He added that the even the reference did not include the name of the former president, yet his client was summoned.

Naek further said Asif Ali Zardari wasn’t a director rather a shareholder in Park Lane. “Park Lane mortgaged its property and took a loan. Zardari was not aware of this. It was discovered in the JIT that the property had been mortgaged.”

Naek added that Zardari had went to the court against the directors over the decision to mortgage the property.

According to Naek, no questionnaire had been handed to Asif Ali Zardari.

Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur were granted an extension in their pre-arrest bail by the Islamabad High Court on Wednesday in six different cases pending in NAB.

The Pakistan Peoples Party leader was granted bail extension until June 12 in the M/s Parklane Estate case, while he and his sister were granted an extension until June 11 in the “JV (Joint Venture)-Opal 225 inquiry.

In the case regarding import of bulletproof vehicles, Zardari’s bail was extended until June 20, while in the Harish and Company case he was given extension until May 30. The court also extended Zardari’s interim bail until May 21 in the investigation pertaining to suspicious transactions.

The interim bail for Zardari and Talpur was also extended till May 29 in the mega-money laundering case.

NAB had also summoned Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on May 17; however, the PPP chairman excused himself from appearing in the watchdog’s headquarters citing a busy schedule.