FIA yet to receive case record against Zardari, Faryal from NAB

By Yousuf Katpar
May 30, 2024
This combo of images shows, President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari (L), his sister and PPP central leader and Women’s Wing president Faryal Talpur. — X/MediaCellPPP/PPI/File

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has not yet provided the record of a mega money laundering case against President Asif Ali Zardari, his sister Faryal Talpur and other accused to the Federal Investigation Agency, even months after the case’s transfer to a banking court in Karachi, The News has learnt.


Zardari, his sister Faryal Talpur, and aides—Hussain Lawai and Khawaja Anwar Majeed --- and other co-accused had been indicted in the case in September 2020 before an accountability court in Islamabad returned the reference to the anti-graft body under the amendments made to the country’s accountability law last year.

The case was subsequently shifted back to the banking court where it was initially filed. On Wednesday, the case came up for hearing before Special Court (Offence in Banks) Judge Javed Ahmed Keerio. Farooq H Naek filed an application on behalf of Faryal Talpur requesting the court to condone her absence from the hearing, which was allowed.

Zardari has already filed an application seeking the presidential immunity under Article 248 (2) of the Constitution, which will be decided by the court after hearing arguments from the prosecution side.

The judge has issued a notice to the FIA prosecutor to forward his arguments on the plea. The hearing was put off until July 9. Sources in the FIA told The News that the agency had not yet recieved the record of the case from the NAB despite the passage of a considerable time after the transfer of the case back to the banking court. It was unclear whether the bureau itself wanted to proceed with the case or would provide the record, they added.

A total of 96 witnesses have been listed in the reference filed by the national graft buster in the Islamabad court. However, only three or four of them could testify after charges were framed against the accused in September 2020. “Several letters have been written to NAB for provision of the record but to no avail,” the sources said.

In 2015, the case was initially lodged against former Pakistan Stock Exchange chairman Hussain Lawai, said to be a close aide of Zardari. Later, more people, including Zardari and Talpur, were allegedly found involved in the scam. They were investigated for alleged connection with fake accounts and suspicious bank transactions amounting to Rs35 billion. The case was originally filed in the banking court in Karachi and was later shifted to Islamabad on the directions of the then chief justice of Pakistan, Saqib Nisar.