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May 22, 2019

Zardari wants action against NAB chief over interview

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May 22, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Co-chairman and former president Asif Ali Zardari said on Tuesday they will take legal course of action against National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal over his interview to a journalist.

Speaking to media persons on the premises of accountability court following the hearing of the fake bank accounts case, he said the NAB chairman’s office did not permit him to be interviewed. “We will take legal action against the NAB chairman,” he said.

Referring to banker Hussain Lawai’s arrest in the case, he lamented an 80-year-old elderly man was being produced in the court handcuffed despite the fact that no charges had been proved against him. He questioned how the country’s economy would work if elderly men will be forced to appear in courts.

Earlier, the PPP co-chairman said either the anti-graft watchdog would work or the economy. Zardari also prayed for former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s health, saying: “May Allah grant health to everyone”.

On Tuesday, the accountability court adjourned the hearing of fake bank accounts case against Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur till May 30. The hearing was deferred as the copies of the interim reference filed by the NAB could not be provided to Zardari and Talpur.

Meanwhile, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) granted interim bail till June 13 to Zardari in eighth inquiry related to illegal contracts. A division bench comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani allowed the bail to the PPP co-chairman against surety bonds of Rs200,000.

During the course of the proceedings, Zardari’s counsel Farook H Naek adopted the stance that the NAB had summoned his client on May 23, in an inquiry related to alleged illegal contracts in the Sindh government.

He said there was a threat to his client for being arrested by the bureau on his appearance in compliance with the NAB notice, adding his client was fully cooperating with the bureau. Naek argued that the bureau had not filed reference against his client related to the above mentioned matter and prayed the court to stop the anti-graft body from arresting Zardari and grant him interim bail. After hearing the arguments, the bench accepted the pre-arrest bail petition of the former president and served notices to the NAB.

It may be mentioned here that the IHC had already granted pre-arrest bail to Zardari in seven other cases related to mega money laundering and fake accounts.

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