DesPardes + PKonweb

Zardari Says ‘Either NAB Will Work, or the Economy’

PKONWEB Report – One of the top political leaders and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on Monday took a jibe at the National Accountability (NAB) stating either the watchdog can work or the economy of the country.

Talking to mediapersons outside an accountability court in Islamabad after his appearance in multiple fake accounts case and mega money laundering case, the beleaguered political party leader said the country’s accountability bureau and economy cannot work together. “The truth is, either NAB will work, or the economy, as both cannot work together,” he warned, weeks after he and hissister appeared in capital Islamabad’s Accountability Court.

The former president and his close associates’ corruption-related and amassing wealth beyond known means case, wrapping the “fake accounts case”, was transferred from the Sindh Accountability Court.

Pakistan scored 33 points out of 100 on the 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index reported by Transparency International. The index reached an all time high of 33 Points in 2018 and a record low of 10 Points in 1996.

PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari also lambasted the NAB, doubling down on (his father) PPP supremo’s statement earlier in the day that the economy could not flourish side by side with the country’s apex anti-graft body.

Bilawal termed NAB a tool being used to victimize the opposition parties, saying the accountability watchdog had filed references “conveniently” against certain political leaders while letting others go scot-free.

Zardari, his sister Talpur, Omni Group’s Anwar Majeed and his sons, and former Pakistan Stock Exchange chairperson Hussain Lawai are among those being investigated in a case related to money laundering of billions through fictitious bank accounts.

All of them are being probed by the NAB on the basis of a joint investigation team (JIT) report which was ordered by the country’s top court last year.

The case added strength as another (third) accused has agreed to become an approver against Zardari siblings in the two cases.

The third accused agreed to become a witness after two women offered the same deal to the anti-corruption and anti-graft watchdog.

The court has extended the pre-arrest interim bail of Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur against surety bonds worth Rs2 million till May 15.

The pre-arrest was previously extended till April 29 and was set to expire on Monday, after the court extended it again.

Read the full text of the JIT report here