Former president of Pakistan and Pakistan Peoples Party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur have submitted a petition in the Supreme Court to review and recall the January 7 decision in the money laundering case against them and their business associates.
The former president, who launched his public relations campaign to create pressure on the court by appearing on Arif Nizami’s program on Chanel 92, is consulting with his lawyers and party leaders to further his campaign.
Present are his sister, and lawyer and former governor of Punjab Latif Khosa, and Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, Sen. Sherry Rehman, his son, Bilawal’s spokesperson Sen. Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, Dr. Nafisa Shah, and Maj. Gen. Naseerullah Khan Babar.
After reviewing the joint investigation team (JIT) report regarding the 29 accounts that received payments totaling at least Rs. 35 billion, the court had directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to conduct a fresh investigation within two months and file references against the accused.
The JIT had named the top tier of PPP’s leadership including Zardari, Talpur, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and. Omni Group’s Anwar Majeed and his son Abdul Ghani Majeed, former Pakistan Stock Exchange chairperson Hussain Lawai, Summit Bank Senior Vice-President Taha Raza are also among 32 people being investigated by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).
As usual Zardari has a few piled up ashtrays in front of him, and a bottle of Roc de Cambes Côtes de Bourg 1997.
Except for his sister, all present are sitting hands folded to hear from their leader.
Zardari completes smoking his cigarette and declares, “My dear Latif [Khosa] if you had done a better job, we would not be in this position today.
“You know what I told Arif Nizami today! I put the reality before him that Imran Khan’s government would no last long. This man thinks that he is still playing cricket. He keeps hitting big shots.
“See who is not talking about his failures. Nadeem Malik of 92 News brought Mian Nawaz Sharif’s finance minister, Ishaq Dar on his program and look what he said that the Imran government is in a huge mess. Then you have Ahsan Iqbal [Sharif’s former interior minister] who constantly reminding Imran that he is doing nothing but just announcing what their government had done earlier.
“Imran is so mean… He boasts that Benazir was his contemporary at Oxford but he refuses to name the new Islamabad airport for her. Imagine the honored name of the Queen of Martyrs has been left on an airport that has been relegated to receiving private jets only.
“The bright thing is that the Sharifs’ party [PML-N] has found its worth now that Nawaz Sharif is jailed. Gone is all that posturing of dragging me in the streets. I am now in heir hearts and minds.
“Sherry, I wouldn’t let Bilawal fly commercial. He can’t be sitting next to some odd this or that. He has to fly in his private jet. Sherry, you need to move a resolution in the Senate that his mother’s name should be moved to the new airport because imagine an orphaned child being obliged to read his mother’s name on a nondescript airport. We have the numbers in cooperation with the Sharifs.
“Now let me to get to the bigger issue. We all agree that we are starving. I mean nearly six months… yes six, and not a penny being made by any of us.”
Murad Ali Shah, seeks permission, and offers, “My honorable and dearest leader, I agree that we don’t have the keys to the federal treasury but we are getting by… we have the Sindh government.”
Zardari, not too pleased at being reminded thus, gruffly adds, “Yes Murad, this is less than a consolation. But I have always looked at the big picture. I am missing my interaction with the real estate agents in London, Paris, Dubai, New York… my offshore bankers have called me more than a few times that my accounts are only getting a trickle.
“Tell you folks that the trouble is Imran Khan. He thinks that he has a genius finance minister in Asad Umar, but even Asad’s older brother, [former Sindh governor Muhammad] Zubair is questioning his wisdom.
“Now they had another mini-budget and continue to boast that this is a business friendly budget and that Imran is laying a business friendly atmosphere.
“But my dear, what is this and why is this so-called fake accounts case against us all?
“Did you see Asad’s Facebook page? Aseefa told me hat he describes himself as a simple worker. So where is the business experience that he is boasting about business friendly policies.
“You know that I am not only a master of politics, but also a master of business. We appeared before JIT, submitted our written replies and the agency has not found any direct evidence against us. Wow! Do they think that they are dealing with a fool who leaves evidence all around? And I tell you not just Imran Khan but none of his people have any inkling of business.
“What about Imran Khan, not even Asad or for that matter any one in the country’s judicial system know that fake accounts are a business method and they are the lifeblood of business. Period. Ask me! How else do businesses run?
“First it was Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirate and Qatar, and now even the U.S. is getting closer to him. But how to tell them that by constantly chirping against corruption, fake accounts and all these things, Imran Khan has sapped the elixir of development.”