Durrani’s petition dubbed ‘publicity stunt’


Leaders of various political parties have protested against Senator Muhammad Ali Durrani’s move of making their party heads respondents in a petition filed by him to recover billions of dollars from foreign bank accounts of Pakistani politicians and bureaucrats, dubbing Durrani’s move a “publicity stunt of an irrelevant politician”. “No leader of Jamaat-e-Islami has any foreign account, therefore Senator Durrani’s move of making JI chief Syed Munawar Hassan respondent in his petition holds no ground,” said Naib Ameer JI Liaqat Baloch while talking to Pakistan Today. He said it was the hobby of former information minister to create new issues.
“He first raised the issue of Bahawalpur province and now has created the issue of foreign bank accounts of Pakistani nationals … he knows the art to keep himself alive in media and headlines,” said Baloch, adding that Senator Durrani filed the petition without having any evidence in this regard. The JI leader said that in principle his party was in favour of recovering Pakistani wealth deposited abroad “but the move should not be meant to get cheap publicity”. The Supreme Court on last Monday returned a petition filed by PML-Q’s former federal minister Senator Muhammad Ali Durrani seeking recovery of billions of dollars from the foreign bank accounts of Pakistani politicians, bureaucrats, army generals, judges and businessmen, and directed the petitioner to give details of persons, who had taken money out of Pakistan, along with the details that how much money was lying in their foreign banks.
Zahid Kazmi, spokesman for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf, said no worker or leader of the PTI had any account in foreign banks. “We have an in-built accountability mechanism in the party and no one can join our ranks until they declare their true assets before party … the recovery of looted public money is the slogan of PTI and some politicians like Durrani are trying to get cheap publicity by stealing our slogans,” he said. PML-Q Secretary Information Kamil Ali Agha said Senator Durrani’s petition was meant to win cheap publicity. “It is nothing but a publicity stunt of an isolated politician … everyone wants return of assets of the country from abroad but no party is ready to support the move of an incredible man,” Agha said.
“He filed the petition without doing necessary homework, therefore, the Supreme Court has directed him to come up with solid information regarding Pakistani nationals who have accumulated looted money in their foreign bank accounts,” he said. By making the Election Commission of Pakistan, the PPP, the PML-N, the PML-Q, the MQM, the Awami National Party, the Jamiat-e-Ulama-e-Islam (F), the Jamaat-e-Islami and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf respondents in the case, Durrani had claimed that the worth of money kept in foreign accounts was $400 billion to $500 billion. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)’s Deputy Secretary Information Khurram Dastgir also termed Durrani’s move a publicity stunt. He clarified that all PML-N members of parliament and provincial assemblies used to declare their assets annually before the Election Commission of Pakistan. Maulana Amjad Khan of the JUI-F also said that no JUI-F leader or parliamentarian had any account in foreign banks.