The news about Federal Investigative Agency (FIA) finding a link between model Ayyan Ali’s accounts and the 29 fake bank accounts used for laundering money to different companies, including Zardari Group, has prompted former president of Pakistan and co-chairman of Pakistan Peoples Party Asif Ali Zardari to call another high-level meeting at Bilawal House Karachi.
Present are, besides his children, Bilawal, Bakhtawar and Aseefa, are his sister and co-accused Faryal Talpur, Senator Sherry Rehman, Aitzaz Ahsan, MNA Nafisa Shah, and MNA Syed Khurshid Shah.
Zardari, his fingers clutching a cigarette and a stack of cigarette cartons in front of him, starts the proceedings, “When our party was in government… when Nawaz Sharif was in government, what do you call them… the whole list… FIA and NAB [National Accountability Bureau] … never found anything but how come all of a sudden, they are finding things as if they are a walking on a beach strewn with seashells.
“Several of our people are in lockup, and Faryal and I are facing the JIT [Joint Investigation Team].
“Things are not looking too well. Besides, [former finance minister] Ishaq Dar, NAB is now investigating [former railway minister Khawaja] Saad Rafique, [former chief minister Punjab and former federal minister] Manzoor Wattoo, and our [former Sindh internal minister] Manzoor Wassan.
“It is really encouraging that we are now working closely with [Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz perpetual leader] Nawaz Sharif over the Shahbaz Sharif arrest issue.
But why Ayyan Ali again? I thought that [lawyer and former Peoples Party of Pakistan speaker Farooq] Naik had done a good job for her.
“I never keep any paper unshredded, so where is this FIA finding ‘connections’?
They are still holding [Omni Group chairman] Anwar Majeed and his son [Abdul Ghani], [chairman of Pakistan Stock Exchange] Hussain Lawai, and [vice president, Summit Bank] Taha Raza. I hope they prove men of mettle like [former prime minister] Yousuf Raza [Gilani]. To shield me, he gave up his seat… lost five years but he refused to obey the Supreme Court.
“This reminds me that with [PML-N’s] Hanif Abbasi has been convicted and imprisoned on drug charges, we need to keep an eye because our Yusuf Raza’s son Ali Musa also has a drug case. I pray that the FIA doesn’t find a link and harass him.
“By the way Aitzaz, you as a lawyer… don’t you feel that it is better to drag our feet, then let the case proceed. This is especially useful in taking care of any documents… we need to install paper shredders in our offices and homes.
“Times demand that we should strengthen our Charter of Democracy [with Nawaz]. It was a great initiative done by our queen of martyrs, Benazir.
“We have the numbers to block everything that Imran Khan wants to do. We all agree that he is creating a bad precedent that public service is not rendered for personal gains. Is he is his right mind?
“Sherry, you move a resolution in the Senate to protect our right to get properly compensated for our public work.
“Thank God, Sindh government is ours. We need to intensely advertise in newspapers and TV to show the achievements of our party leaders and how they deserve to take their share for public service. The people should be taught to accept this fact that ensured rewards enhance the sanctity of public service.”
The meeting concludes as all party leaders do a show of reverence to the head family, and raise the obligatory slogan: Bhutto zinda hai (Bhutto lives).