Following the banking court’s permission to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to transfer the fake bank accounts and mega money laundering case from Karachi to Islamabad for trial, Asif Ali Zardari, a former president of Pakistan, and chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has arranged a meet the press at Bilawal House, Karachi.
The banking court, also withdrew the interim bails granted to Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur. The court has also cancelled the bail bonds of the suspects. Hussain Lawai, former chairman of Pakistan Stock Exchange, and Abdul Ghani Majeed, son of chairman, Omni Group Anwer Majeed are already under NAB’s custody over their alleged involvement in the case.
NAB chairman Justice (retd.) Javed Iqbal, pleading for the transfer, had stated that the Supreme Court has ordered NAB to investigate the case, which necessitates its transfer to a NAB court in Islamabad.
It stings because Sindh is PPP domain where nothing can move against the rulers.
The invited media troop includes Marvi Sirmed, special correspondent of the Daily Times, Shehzad Khanzada, anchor of Geo News’ program “Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada kay Sath,” Mansoor Ali Khan of Express News and Mehr Bukhari of NewsEye.
Also present is Zardari’s counsel Farooq H. Naek.
Walking toward the drawing room, the family’s crown prince, Bilawal, was overheard assuring his sisters, Bakhtawar and Assefa, “Don’t worry about these arrest warrants. Our dad is far better that Uncle Shehbaz [Sharif] in faking illnesses, not just opening accounts in the names of poor people…”
As usual, Zardari has a few ashtrays piled high with cigarette butts in various stages of their abandonment. The wine service is there for the takers.
Zardari thanks the guests, and states, “Thank you for coming. Honestly, you are only of the few who know that I am the best. I won’t say more, but you are seeing the mess that Imran Khan is making. They had the Indian pilot and sent him back with fanfare but without negotiating for anything. Donald Trump thinks of himself as the king of the deal, but he has not dealt with Asif Ali Zardari. If not much, I would have at least made [Indian prime minister] Modi to open export of Indian tomatoes and onions to Pakistan through the Zardari Group.
“Any now what to say about the prime minister select. Tell me what is corrupt practices and corruption in making the poor happy by opening accounts in their names. The charges do not include deceiving the public either.
“You heard what Bilawal said, as I told him to say so, to label NAB as the ‘bureau of political engineering’.
“Where is the 18th Amendment where provinces are free. A few ago days, NAB arrested the speaker of our Sindh Assembly… it is highly condemnable.
“Next they will try to grab Faryal and me…
“In our Charter of Democracy signed by [former prime minister] Benazir and Nawaz Sharif, it was agreed that NAB would be done away with.”
”Bilawal quickly glances towards his father, and getting permission talk, declares, “They are trying to jail my father and aunt. We are a very religious family. My mother always prostrated on the Turbah (made from clay from Karbala in Iraq). We celebrate Muharram with all the pomp and splendor. And also the Ashura thing. And Imran Khan is moving against my father and aunt.”
Of course, no one dare correct the prince that up next is May, coinciding with Ramadan, and Muharram starts on August 31.
Zardari rejoins the conversation, “This Brigadier Asad Munir’s suicide is an opportunity for us to kill the NAB and the accountability craze of Imran Khan. Here you, the journalists have to support us and show that Asad Munir was martyred at the hands of the NAB, and its next victims are the Zardari family.
“But let me caution you never mention that Asad Munir was called by NAB only once; or that the case started in 2016. We have to show that NAB is a harasser, a puppet on Imran Khan’s strings.
“Of course, I am not Nawaz Sharif to take you to hajj with me every year, but I will ensure that we will get a proper aircraft for the head of state which has accommodation for all of our friends.
“I am not being unreasonable but those who render public service have the right scoop out as much as it seems satisfying to them.”