Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!


February 20, 2019

Pindi is Kerbala for Bhuttos, says Bilawal


Wed, Feb 20, 2019

LONDON: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that Bhuttos have always faced Kerbala in Rawalpindi and transfer of fake accounts case from Sindh to Rawalpindi is the latest manifestation of that.

Addressing a press conference here soon after the arrest of Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani, the PPP leader and Pakistan National Assembly lawmaker said that the fake accounts case, involving his father Asif Ali Zardari and his aunt, should not have been transferred from Sindh to Rawalpindi. He said that the alleged crime scene is in Sindh and the case should have been heard in Sindh but the Supreme Court rejected his petition asking the NAB to hold an inquiry into the fake accounts case in the twin cities. Bhutto said that that the PPP workers are saying that Rawalpindi has never given us justice as in the case of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who was hanged in Rawalpindi, and his mother Shaheed Benazir Bhutto, who was killed in Rawalpindi in a bomb attck. And now the fake accounts case, said Bilawal.

“PPP workers say that Kerbala is created for PPP in Pindi every time and there is history to it but we are not scared of Pindi; I demand that shift all other trials to Sindh and I am ready to face trial in Pindi; there cannot be two laws in Pakistan. If I can be tried in Rawalpindi than others should be tried in Sindh.”

Bilawal alleged that double standards of justice were on full display as his family was being victimized while Imran Khan, his sister Aleema Khan and PTI leaders Jahangir Tareen and PTI’s allies were outside of the remit of law and accountability. Bilawal said that transfer of fake accounts cases to Pindi was violation of his rights as a citizen of Pakistan.

Bilawal strongly condemned the arrest of Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Wednesday by saying that the attack on the speaker is unacceptable and it is an undemocratic attempt to dislodge Sindh government.

He added that Independent institutions should not unwittingly be part of political engineering but unfortunately a campaign of revenge was underway and NAB and institutions were being used for political engineering. He alleged that the 18th Amendment, NFC award and fundamental rights were under attack in the PTI government. He said that the arrest of Agha Nasir Durrani from Islamabad by NAB sent a wrong message to Sindh.

He said that there was one law in Pakistan for Imran Khan and his people and another for rest of the country. He said that Imran Khan’s assets are in billions and he has not worked after 1992. “He has no source of income since 1992 so where does he get his money from, what are his sources? His sister Aleema Khan owns tens of millions, has made dozens of properties in Dubai, New jersey and New York; all we know is that she had a sewing machine that helped her to become a millionaire; there is Jahangir Tareen who had an offshore company and foreign Swiss accounts but no JIT on Imran Khan, Aleema or Tareen to investigate their means of income. Only we are the targets of this so-called accountability.”

Bilawal quipped: “Aleema Khan is a magician. We want her to teach us how she made her money through a sewing machine, how she made flats in New Jersey, New York and Dubai. This is a secret we would love to know about.”

Bilawal said that PM’s Special Assistant Zulfi Bukhari was sprung out of Pakistan by Imran Khan himself while his name was on the ECL. “All laws were set aside for the friend of Imran Khan. That was bizarre hypocrisy. Only in Pakistan a benamee prime minister can play with the constitution of the country and he’s allowed to do that.

Bilawal condemned the PTI government for suppressing rights of Pakistani citizens. “Our democratic values, democratic space and our human rights are under attack at the moment. Freedom of expression is essential for any democracy and one of the basic pillars of a society but these values are under attack in Pakistan, there are planned attacks on media and there is a plan behind it,” he said.

Bilawal said he was opposed to Nawaz Sharif's trial by SC in Panama case and asked PMLN to let this matter be dealt by the parliament. “It was my view that this matter should be dealt by the parliament and only parliament should hold politicians accountable and not outside institutions but the PMLN didn’t listen to me at that time and what happened after that is known to all.

Bilawal said that the NAB’s laws were draconian in nature and its laws are used for political engineering. “NAB's ‘asset beyond means’ jargon stands for political victimisation and it’s used by the NAB when no evidence of corruption is found. NAB is not a free and fair institution. This institution was set up for political engineering by Musharraf and PPP was the first target as King’s Party was made through the NAB.

He asked: “Why is Pervaiz Elahi free, why is Pervaiz Khattack free, why Zulfi Bukhari is free, why Asad Qaisar is free, why Aleema Khan and others a=in PTI are free. Why was Siraj Durrani arrested by NAB on the basis of allegations. Why is Musharraf sitting in Dubai and enjoying life scot free after destroying the constitution of Pakistan? Why there is JIT on us to investigate our breakfasts and meals while he’s allowed to use his frozen accounts? What’s the difference? Is my blood different from his? Are we lesser beings?

Bilawal offered that he was ready to join hands with Imran Khan to make amendments in NAB laws but he feared that Imran Khan will not take up the offer because “persecution and political fixing” by the NAB suits him. Bilawal demanded that the NAB must be dismantled and a fair accountability institution should be formed for across the board accountability on fair and transparent basis. He said that NAB was setting dangerous precedents. “The Chief Justice of Pakistan himself ordered that my name should be expunged from the fake accounts report, that my name should be removed from the ECL but then added my name in the written order implicating me. Where does this happen in the world, this kind of discrepancy and double standards? there was difference in written n verbal order and its shocking? Why did he do that and who asked him to do that?”

Bilawal said his family has been facing media trial for many months but they have not been given right to defend themselves in the court. He claimed that they have been denied basic rights in a brazen manner. “I didn’t get right to a fair trial. My colleagues say that Bhuttos cannot get justice from courts. There are thousands of cases that the courts can take up but they didn’t and they are focusing on us. The fake accounts case was created in the middle of election process to manipulate results; there should have been no suo moto by the supreme court.”

Bilawal Bhutto expressed solidarity with media workers and said that there is “no freedom of media and freedom of press in Naya Pakistan and we condemn attacks on freedoms in Pakistan by PTI govt; attacks on journalists are unacceptable, freedoms enjoyed under PPP govt are now gone”.