Pakistani PM’s party seeks disqualification of ex-president Zardari
Islamabad, Jan 21 : Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party on Monday filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking the disqualification of former president and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chief Asif Ali Zardari.
Khurram Sher Zaman, a Member of Sindh Assembly from the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, filed the disqualification petition against 63-year-old Zardari in the apex court, Geo TV reported.
Zardari, the husband of assassinated former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, was elected to parliament from the southern Sindh province in the elections in July last.
“We hope that the court will hear the petition soon and I am confident I will win this case,” Zaman said while speaking to the media outside the court.
“Zardari owns assets worth billions which he concealed. This is a very big case and we have a lot of evidence,” he said. “We will apprise the media when there is any headway in the case.”
On December 20, Zaman had filed a reference in the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) seeking the disqualification of the former president for allegedly concealing his New York apartment in his tax returns.
However, earlier this month, the PTI leader withdrew the disqualification reference stating that he would move the apex court against Zardari.
Zardari served as the 11th President of Pakistan from 2008 to 2013.
On December 27, the Pakistan government placed Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur on the Exit Control List (ECL) to prevent them from flying abroad after they were named in a Supreme Court-appointed joint investigative team probing fake bank accounts.
The JIT probe, constituted by the apex court on September 5, focused on “32 fake accounts” which were allegedly used to give massive financial benefits to Zardari, Talpur and several others.
However, the Supreme Court on December 31 expressed anger over the government’s move placing the names of 172 suspects on the ECL and ordered it to review the decision.
The Cabinet then sent the list to a review committee. The review committee recommended the removal of 20 names from the ECL, including those of the PPP leaders.
However, Prime Minister Khan and his team rejected the recommendations and decided not to remove names of Bhutto-Zardari from the ECL.
Last week, the Supreme Court ordered the government to lift the travel ban imposed on opposition leader Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and the Sindh Chief Minister, and asked the country’s anti-corruption body to probe their involvement in the Rs 35 billion ‘fake accounts case’.