Sindh High Court’s rejection of Asif Zardari and Faryal Talpur’s pleas against transfer of money laundering case against them to Islamabad, has thrust Bilawal House, Karachi, is in a state of panic. Zardari and his three children are dressed in mourning colors.
The servants brigade at the residence is the target of temper tantrums of not only the four but also the temper tantrums of his sister Faryal Talpur and her family.
Not only that but also the news of Omni Group chief financial officer Arif Khan’s arrest in Dubai in the money-laundering case being investigated by the FIA.
Zardari has summoned his lawyers and party leaders. Present are his lawyers Farooq H. Naek and Lateef Khosa, his children, Bilawal, Bakhtawar and Aseefa, and party stalwarts, national assembly member Khursheed Shah, Maj. Gen. Farhatulah Babar, who was national security minister in Benazir’s cabinet; senator Sherry Rahman, and national assembly member Dr. Nafisa Shah.
Zardari’s stress level can be gauged from the count of overburdened ashtrays and empty bottles of Chivas Regal standing in front of him.
Zardari, turns his face toward his lawyers and booms, “Who gave you law degrees! How are you in practice for such a long time? Why didn’t you file our case with the Lahore High Court? Didn’t you see the soft-gloves treatment meted out in Lahore to Shehbaz Sharif?
“It is like a war out there. You saw that, NAB questioned our [former prime minister Yusuf Raza] Gilani that why he let me have the two bulletproof BMW 760s that UAE had gifted to Pakistan. Crazy! Awful. Man that beautiful man was prime minister of Pakistan! He could have given me the State Bank. Isn’t it the ruler’s prerogative? And what proof… I paid their customs duty through what-they-are calling ‘fake accounts’.
“Whatever, they can’t get a penny from Asif Ali Zardari?
“Yes, his is why they have brought the case to Islamabad. It is attack on the 18th Amendment. The provinces are free to act and they could not have even moved a hair if this case was in Sindh.
“The rejection of my case is damaging. See how NAB (National Accountability Bureau) is advancing toward me very tactfully. Now they have obliged Younas Khudwani to agree to a deal. They nominated him in this case of ours and he offered Rs 600 million. Wow… this man is the real softie.
“They are holding Arif Khan [secretary of Omni Group] and they are after my [foster] brother Owais [Muzzafar alias Tappi, living in Dubai]. Arif is one great guy. A real dealmaker! The way he handled Omni Group’s purchase of 150 apartments in Dubai for mere Rs. 3 billion.
“Thank you God, Nasir Lootah is still safe because without him they can’t get any information about my businesses.
“We have to keep our eyes on Dubai. I am afraid that Shiekh Mohammad [ruler of Dubai] may fall to Imran Khan’s charms; after all he used to take him to the Royal Ascot races [in London].
Aseefa quickly adds, “Dad, why don’t you let Dubai know, if they dare to touch our money or property, we will take it to Switzerland, which is so safe.”
Zardari assures his daughter, “Don’t worry my sweet angel. I have better spots than Switzerland.
“But what worries me is that they are harassing little girls. Ayyan Ali… such a nice and hardworking girl. She never hesitates carrying a few hundred thousands to Dubai. She is being harassed. Farooq [Naek], you are her lawyer. I heard that they are confiscating her apartment in Karachi… It is just Rs 35 million; and they want to auction it.
“Sherry, I am so glad that all our loyal journalists are doing their jobs so well… Mansoor Ali Khan, Marvi Sirmed, Hamid Mir, Nadeem Malik, Asma Shirazi… they are not letting off in attacking Imran Khan.
“But Farooq [Naek] and Lateef [Khosa], you also had other lawyers with you… Hussain Lawai’s lawyer… Anwar Majeed and Abdul Ghani Majeed’s lawyer, Barrister Jamshed Malik. Why so many lawyers lost our case!
“Sherry, we need a fail safe. Remember I told you that you ask Senator Akbar Khawaja [in Washington, D.C.] to get new birth certificates of my children giving only their mother’s name. Now, I find an opening in Italy. I have learnt that because Mussolini is still respected by a number of Italians, his daughter got her children’s name changed to Mussolini. We need that law. We need to get Zardari out from their names.
“I am not egoistical. I know right now Zardari name is not marketable. But never forget like Jesus died for the sins of Christians, Bhutto died so that we could acquire all we desire.”