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Fictitious bank accounts case: Zardari talks about milkman, ‘Mithaiwala’

By Monitoring Desk
November 02, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People’s Party Co-Chairman President Asif Ali Zardari on Thursday said the authorities will have to prove that he went to open fictitious bank accounts in the name of some milkman or sweetmeat seller, only then can a case be registered against him.

Talking to senior anchorperson Hamid Mir in Geo News talk show ‘Capital Talk’, Zardari continued by saying: “Even then, I can defend the case: ‘Yes I have deposited money in this account, it is my wish’.”

“By and large, I have an understanding of the law...Every other day surfaces a milkman or a sweetmeat seller, and money is found in their accounts,” he slammed.

When Hamid Mir, repeated the same for clarification and asked the former president, “What about the poor fellow who has no idea about any of this?”, Zardari responded by saying: “Then it is his fault.”

Stunned by the response, when Mir inquired to be sure: “It is his fault?”, Zardari replied with a quick: “It is the bank’s fault.”

The FIA has been investigating 32 people in relation to money laundering from fictitious bank accounts, including former president Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur.

Zardari’s close aide Hussain Lawai was arrested in July this year in connection with the probe, whereas Omni Group chairman Anwar Majeed and his son, Abdul Ghani Majeed, were also taken into custody later.

As the conversation turned to the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) and the prime minister’s recent speech where he had vowed “no corrupt person will get an NRO”, Zardari quipped: “He [PM Imran Khan] has a habit of saying things.”

When the anchir remarked in a questioning tone: “[Has he] gone too far and said too much?”, Zardari responded by reiterating that the prime minister “is habitual of saying too much”.

“We had told him to behave like an executive and to desist from opposition politics and let us worry about the opposition,” Zardari told Mir.

Criticising the prime minister for his speech a day earlier, he said the premier distanced his government from the issue [of countrywide protests] and brought forward the institutions. “This is the first time that the prime minister holds the portfolio of Ministry on Interior,” Zardari said, adding that the Interior Ministry is responsible both for holding talks and taking action.

He suggested the prime minister to himself get the issue resolved.

The statement by the PPP co-chairman comes amid countrywide protests over the acquittal of Aasia Bibi.

Zardari vowed to support Prime Minister Imran Khan in the emerging situation.

The PPP co-chairman was also asked about reports that model Ayyan Ali was also being brought to Pakistan and made an approver.

“Approver for what? Is there any connection?” he questioned.

Zardari said that coming together in the National Assembly hall with Shahbaz Sharif was just a coincident.

Warning against burdening of common people, Zardari said that something will have to be done in order to prevent the masses from standing up in case of getting no relief.

Commenting on Saudi assistance to Pakistan, he said they did not have such terms with Saudi Arabia to get such a huge sum in financial assistance. “Someone has got them money from Saudi Arabia,” the PPP co-chairman said.