–Asad Qaiser reportedly refuses to issue production orders for PTM leaders Mohsin Dawar and Ali Wazir
ISLAMABAD: National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser on Wednesday said that he will issue production order of former president and Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari to attend the assembly session next week.
According to reports, a delegation of PPP led by former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf called on Qaiser and asked for issuance of production orders of Asif Zardari and Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement’s (PTM) Mohsin Dawar and Ali Wazir.
Sources said that the NA speaker flatly refused to issue production orders of Mohsin Dawar and Ali Wazir.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Monday arrested Zardari from his residence in the federal capital on Monday hours after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) rejected an application seeking extension in the pre-arrest bails of Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur in the fake accounts case.
FAKE ACCOUNTS CASE:
In 2015, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had launched a probe into fake accounts and fictitious transactions conducted through 29 ‘benami’ accounts in Summit Bank, Sindh Bank and UBL on the basis of a tip-off.
Initially, seven individuals, including Zardari and his Talpur, were said to be involved in using those accounts for suspicious transactions. The accounts were allegedly used to channel funds received through kickbacks.
Later, the apex court took a suo motu notice on the delay in the FIA probe into the case. The SC also constituted a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe into the matter.
The JIT during the course of investigation uncovered 33 more suspicious accounts linked to the case, while nearly 170 individuals linked to the case were put on the no-fly list.
According to a report submitted in the court, 210 companies were also found to have alleged links to the case. As many as 47 of these companies and 334 people were associated with the Omni Group — owned by a close aide of Zardari. At one stage, the top court had frozen all assets and accounts of the group.
The accountability watchdog and the FIA allege that an account titled M/s A One International was fake and it received a sum of Rs4.4 billion out of which Rs30 million were paid to the Zardari Group at two different times.
The FIA had filed the case before a banking court in Karachi which had issued an arrest warrant for Zardari. Subsequently, the PPP leader had obtained protective/transitory bail from the IHC on August 18, 2018. Later, the case was shifted from the accountability in Karachi to an accountability court in Islamabad as the investigators accused the PPP of influencing the case.
During the course of the investigation, on April 8, two accused in the case — Kiran Aman and Noreen Sultan — became approvers against Zardari and Talpur.
Several close friends of Zardari had been arrested in the case, while the PPP chief and his sister Faryal Talpur were on an interim bail which was extended multiple times before being rejected on Monday. Both Zardari and Talpur are on bail in at least seven other cases of corruption and malpractice.