The mood at Karachi’s Bilawal House is somber where Pakistan Peoples Party co-chairman and former president of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, currently a member of the National Assembly, is meeting with key party leaders. Present are Sindh chief minister Murad Ali Shah, Sen. Sherry Rehman, PPP Punjab President Qamar Zaman Kaira, Rehman Malik, Sardar Latif Khosa, former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, and Farhatullah Babar, along with his three children Bilawal, Bakhtawar and Aseefa.
The former president, his son Bilawal and party leaders had returned after visiting with former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to condole his wife Kulsoom’s demise.
Zardari is reporting on his one-to-one meeting with Nawaz Sharif.
“The meeting we had with Nawaz was important, especially when I could meet with him privately. Our meeting at Adiala was so closely monitored.
“First, you have to admire that man. He told me that he is willing to spend the rest of his life in jail but he will never give even a penny back to Pakistan.
“This meeting with him became necessary because of the Sharjeel Memon fiasco and other things that are popping up. There Sharjeel was comfortably ensconced in Ziauddin Hospital, and had the facility of driving home every night in their ambulance. Our dear, Dr. Asim Hussain had made excellent arrangements for him.
“Of course, it is a shame that when we are ruling Sindh, our man, Sharjeel gets nabbed for enjoying his favorite drinks in the hospital. Now he has lost the hospital privileges and is locked up in jail.
“Yes, indeed, a great job was done for exchanging the liquor bottles with bottles of oil and honey, and getting the evidence obliterated and the blood tests fixed. But surprise or no surprise, why proper care was not taken before the chief justice entered his room.
“I am not discounting my appreciation for the masterful evidence tampering but the question is why the bottles were allowed to be seen?
“Now you see this Ayyan Ali case is sprouting up again. I fully appreciate how the case has been dragged from her March 1995 arrest to now. Good job with medical certificates for her illness, then her mother’s illness.
“Of course, I do ask, why she was not protected and ended up getting caught? It was just a matter of half a million dollars!
“Yes, thanks to our work she received VIP treatment during her time at Adiala Jail.
“Now this Supreme Court …this chief justice Saqib Nisar has asked Surgeon General of Pakistan Lt. Gen. Zahid Hameed, to examine our [Omni Group’s] Anwar Majeed and his son, Abdul Ghani. God knows, next this chief justice will set this general upon our [former Pakistan Stock Exchange chairman] Hussain Lawai.
“Saqib Nisar also questioned poor [Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre’s] Dr. Seemi Jamali, why she has been unable to diagnose Anwar. He also rejected Omni group’s counsel, Ayesha Hamid’s objection on moving the medical check-up to Punjab. Justice Bandial, who shares the bench, also cast aspersions on us that he had no choice since the Sindh government was uncooperative.
“The better said less … God have mercy… Punjab is Imran territory now.
“Now we saw what ARY TV reported that Farhan Junejo and his wife were picked by the police in London on the charge that he is wanted in money laundering case related to the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan. Again he is being harassed for a paltry case of £8 million! Someone should tell this Saqib Nisar that dams cost more than £8 million! This is another of that paltry cash … that Rs. 35 billion investigation that is going on against our Zardari group.
“What a man Farhan… he worked for our dear [federal commerce minister] Makhdoom Amin Faheem… they never denied my share. God bless our Makhdoom.
“Yes, these all are challenges when right now we don’t control the federal purse strings, but Sindh is ours. Our Murad Ali Shah is doing the best to cushion the loss the media is facing due to the stingy advertising policy adopted by the federal and Punjab and Khyber Pakhtonkhwa governments.
“We should not let any opportunity pass us for influencing the media. Off hand, I see one opportunity in that Imran Khan is only serving them a bottle of water and a solitary cookie, so we are in good shape; we should serve them chicken samosas and more too!
“So about my meeting with Nawaz … with all this going on, it seems the hospital stay I may try to obtain is becoming harder. I discussed with him the conditions he faces in Adiala Jail. He said of course, it is nothing like his Jati Umra. So I added then nothing like our Bilawal Houses too. However, let me assure you that he said being [former] rulers we get the best in comforts.”