Former president and Pakistan People Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari is an angry mode. The ashtrays are overloaded.
Considering the situation, his lawyers, Farooq Naik and Aitzaz Ahsan are sitting on the floor, heads bowed. Next to them are visibly scared and head bowed Sindh chief minister Murad Ali Shah and advisor to chief minister on information Barrister Murtaza Wahab.
Zardari, with his cigarette affixed to his lips, asks, “Why has Dawn published this news… this Park Lane Estates… that both of us, Bilawal and I have been summoned by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB)? Not just that, the newspaper published that we are wanted for some alleged illegal transfer of forest acreage. Why this hullaballoo? Why… all this exercise for a matters fourteen or so acres. My chateau in France has more acreage!
“But I am asking Murad why Dawn published this news? Why! Have you shrunk their advertising placements?
“Farooq and Aitzaz, now it’s your turn to answer… why are these cases sprouting up? Why all these files were not destroyed… why there was no fire in the record rooms?
“It was really disturbing too see [Nawaz Sharif cabinet railways minister] Khawaja Saad Rafique and his brother Khawaja Salman Rafique arrested in land development cases. I hear that NAB is also investigating their former cabinet colleague, Marriyum Aurangzeb.
“Imran Khan thinks that he can stuff jails with his political opponents and rule. See how the FIA [Federal Investigation Agency] off-loaded [leader of the opposition] Hamza Shehbaz from a Doha-bound flight. Poor chap was going to London to meet up with his brother Salman.
“And what about their father, Shehbaz being locked up. I thought his cancer thing would work, but it seems no. I tell, it is only Asif Ali Zardari who knows how to get ill and remain free from jail.
“God bless, I don’t have lily-livered people. Shehbaz’ man Qaiser Amin Butt turned approver.
“Farooq and Aitzaz, why all these money laundering cases have not been shot down… why this JIT [Joint Investigation Team] has not been curtailed.
“I hope you know that Bilawal being summoned is a great hurt to your everlasting leaders, his mother and his grandfather. They have no sense of shame going after a child. Neither Bilawal, nor his sisters have ever asked how much and where their funds are growing.
“Farooq and Aitzaz, I am very much concerned that after the Supreme Court pronounces their judgment in the Nawaz case last week of December and then you will see Imran Khan will charge against us.
“I don’t like the tenor of things. Farooq, Aitzaz, Murad and Murtaza it is time that you go full speed to make people understand that whatever they are doing or growing… but I own Pakistan.