–IHC postpones Faryal Talpur’s bail plea, seeks response from NAB
–Zardari to be shifted to Ziauddin Hospital in Karachi on Thursday
ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday granted bail to former president and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari on medical grounds in two separate graft cases that pertain to money laundering through fake bank accounts and Park Lane estate case.
A two-member bench comprising IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Aamir Farooq granted the PPP leader bail against two surety bonds of Rs10 million each.
As the high court resumed the hearing, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) — represented by Prosecutor General Jahanzaib Bharwana and Deputy Prosecutor General Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi — presented Zardari’s medical report prepared by a five-member medical board at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) to the bench.
The high court-mandated medical board in its report stated that the former president was suffering from type-2 diabetes – a chronic medical condition in which blood sugar levels build up abnormally – and also faces heart ailments. It further revealed that the former president had three stents placed in his heart. The report further said that it was not possible for the former president to receive proper treatment in jail.
NAB’s legal team told the court that the bureau had completed its interrogation and filed a reference.
“Does NAB want Zardari to remain under detention and receive treatment on state’s expenditure?” asked Justice Minallah. The anti-corruption watchdog did not answer. Subsequently, the high court granted bail to Zardari in both cases.
Zardari was shifted to PIMS in October after the medical board stated that he was suffering from cardiac problems, diabetes and other ailments, and needed medical care.
According to sources, the PPP senior leader will reach Karachi on Thursday where he will be admitted to the Ziauddin Hospital in Clifton.
Initially, his CT scan and angiography would be conducted whereas angioplasty will also be done if necessary. Head of National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) Dr Nadeem Qamar would be Zardari’s consultant cardiologist.
The PPP stalwart has been suffering from ischemic heart disease, which means his heart may have an inadequate supply of blood and oxygen. He also has severe pain in L5-S1 vertebra of the spinal cord.
The bench, however, adjourned Faryal Talpur’s bail plea till Dec 17 owing to a lack of response from NAB. In an application filed earlier this month, Talpur maintained that she was the mother of a differently-abled child. In order to care for her child, she asked the court to grant bail until the completion of the trial.
Zardari, Talpur and other accused face charges of corruption through fake bank accounts and embezzlement in the financial facility for Park Lane Private Limited and Parthenon (Pvt) Limited. NAB alleged that the national exchequer suffered a loss of Rs3.77 billion because of the irregularities.
BILAWAL THANKS JUDGES:
After the hearing, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari thanked the judges for “doing justice”. He claimed that the “NAB-government nexus wanted to stop, pressurise and threaten” the party.
“If the government thinks that they can pressurise us with these tactics then it is mistaken. I want to tell them that the prayers of this country’s poor people carry a lot of power.
“President Zardari is going to come out […] He will get medical treatment and then, you all know that he is a hunter. He will come out to hunt the player,” Bilawal told supporters and media.
He also criticised the government and said that it had “ruined the country’s economy and politics”.
“I am giving a political statement; this will be the last year of this government,” Bilawal declared.