ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Thursday clarified that the court has not ordered to put names of former president and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur on Exit Control List (ECL).
During the hearing of money laundering case, CJP asked whether Asif Ali Zaradri and Faryal are accused or not as the directives were issued to only include names of accused in the ECL. Uproar was created on what the court has not ordered, Justice Saqib added.
However, the court rejected the appeal of Zardari’s lawyer to replace Najaf Mirza, who is the head of the FIA team investigation the money-laundering scam. The CJ said that he cannot be replaced for now.
“What we just said that fake accounts were opened in relation to these two figures,” he added. He said, “What we want that Federal Investigation Agency must probe the case and it should be transparent.”
The court wants to have fake bank accounts investigated, said the CJ. He asked if Zardari knew who was responsible for laundering billions of rupees. “He should tell us their names if he knows them,” he remarked.
“We’ve not issued any such order that may tarnish somebody’s reputation,” said the CJP. He was of the view that the case should be heard after the elections so that no one could have any apprehensions in this regard.
He also asked for careful revision of the court order to find names that were actually to be placed on the no-fly list. Amid the hearing, Justice Ejazul Hasan said those facing criminal cases were put on the ECL.
In his remarks, chief justice said investigation was yet to be initiated in fake accounts case and the case warrants probe if there are actually some financial irregularities.
Earlier, Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur had submitted their reply in Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) after failing to appear in the money laundering case.
Reacting to the allegations, former president Asif Ali Zardari said, “I was sent a notice of 1.5 billion rupees. But it has been hyped up to 35 billion rupees.”
The PPP leader suggested it “isn’t the time” to hold politicians accountable. “This is not the time for accountability… to hold politicians accountability. It s election time.”
The PPP leader also ruled out that his party plans to boycott elections. “Election boycott is no solution to the prevailing issues. People s Party won t boycott elections,” he said.
It is to be mentioned here that Asif Ali Zardari, Faryal Talpur and their associates are accused of sending Rs35 billion abroad through fake accounts after which, their names were placed on Exit Control List (ECL).
The police first investigation report (FIR) stated that M/S Zardari Group (Asif Ali Zardari, Faryal Talpur, etc) got Rs15,000,000 and were among the beneficiaries of the transaction trail of fake bank accounts maintained by Omni Group, owned by Anwar Majeed, another close aide of the former president.—NNI