Zardari announces to take action against NAB chief’s interview

NAB chief have no right to give interview: Zardari

11

Basharat Raja

ISLAMABAD

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman and former president Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday announced to take action against the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal for giving an interview against him.

Asif Zardari said in an informal talk to media after appearing before an accountability court in Islamabad that the NAB chief doesn’t have the right to give an interview. “NAB chairman’s post does not allow him to do this and we will take action against him”.

“The law says that the accused is the favourite child of the court until he proved guilty,” Zardari said, adding that right now no one is guilty and NAB is presenting people in handcuffs, drag the elderly to the jail. How the economy of the country can run after handcuffing and arresting elderly persons, he said.

Meanwhile, Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi raised objections over the impartiality of the NAB Chairman Justice (retd) Javaid Iqbal in light of his recent comments in an interview.

“The only propose of NAB is to defame politicians and put baseless allegations on them. How can the country run if politicians are always targeted,” said the veteran PML-N leader.

Abbasi said that NAB Chairman should not give any statement which shows favour or discrimination towards any party, adding that in the interview Justice (retd) Javaid Iqbal said that Ahad Cheema’s arrogance took him to the task.

“One shouldn’t be arrogant but is arrogance a national crime,” the former prime minister questioned.

Abbasi said that the NAB chairman said that Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz Sharif are seeking a deal and ready to return money. “Either the NAB Chairman is lying or the interviewer but in both cases, politicians are being defamed.”

The former prime minister said that the NAB chairman claimed Shehbaz offered to take retirement from the politics but on contrary to it the PML-N leader never met with him.

“The character assassination campaign must stop now,” he said. “The economy is in tatters and a big share of responsibility for it rests with the NAB.”

Earlier in the day, Asif Zardari along with his sister Faryal Talpur appeared before an accountability court in fake bank accounts case.

The accountability court hearing the case failed on Tuesday to set a date for their indictment. The court did not set a date for indictment as the accused were not provided copies of the reference.

Accountability court judge Arshad Malik is hearing the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) reference against Zardari and Talpur. During the hearing, show cause notices were issued to chief secretary Sindh and superintendent jail over their failure to produce Abdul Ghani Majeed and Anwar Majeed.

At the outset of the hearing an exemption plea was filed by Abdul Ghani Majeed through his counsel over worsening health issues.

Farooq H. Naek raised reservation over presenting Hussain Lawai, handcuffed in the court and termed it as against the law.

Later his handcuffs were removed on the orders of the AC judge.

The court turned down bail pleas of Hussain Lawai and Talha Raza and adjourned the hearing till May 30.

Meanwhile, The Islamabad High Court (IHC) granted Asif Zardari bail in the Harish and Company case.

An IHC bench comprising Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani approved the bail of the PPP Co-Chairman until June 13 against a surety bond of Rs200,000.

After preliminary hearing, the bench directed the former president to furnish a surety of Rs500,000 to secure the bail.

However, Zardari’s lawyer, Farooq H Naek requested the judge to reduce the bail amount to Rs200,000.

Justice Kayani questioned has Asif Ali Zardari run out of cash? At this, the counsel replied his client had furnished surety bonds in so many cases that he is left with hardly any money.

According to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), the Harish and Company was awarded a contract for water supply by the Sindh government but failed to complete the projects and the public funds were allegedly used to meet the expense of Naudero House.

It is noteworthy that the bureau mulling over a supplementary reference to be filed in the Harish and Company case, nominating former president Asif Ali Zardari as a suspect in it.

Sources relayed the PPP co-chairman will be named an accused person in the reference over his “non-cooperation” with the bureau in its probe into the case.