Bilawal gets off hook in assets scrutiny case


Staff Report

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) disposed off the case regarding discrepancies in financial assets of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) co-chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Wednesday.
A four-member bench of the ECP, presided over by its Punjab member, Altaf Ibrahim Qureshi, heard the case where counsel Farooq Naek appeared on behalf of Bilawal and submitted a reply.
Accepting the reply, the ECP closed the case against the PPP leader. Talking to media following the hearing, counsel Naek said that the ECP had raised objections regarding Bilawal’s assets.
“We submitted all the relevant documents to the ECP, and they accepted them,” he said. Last year, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had summoned Bilawal to quiz him about the shady transfer of a hefty amount of money from an account of a company he had shares in.
NAB is investigating the transfer of Rs1.22 billion to JV Opal from an account of Zardari Group of Companies. Bilawal owns 25% shares in Zardari Group. His father and PPP co-chairman, Asif Ali Zardari, and aunt, Faryal Talpur, also have shares in the business enterprise.
However, the PPP chairman refused to appear before NAB, describing the anti-graft body as a product of a black law and acting as a tool in the hands of the PTI government for political victimisation. Both Zardari and Talpur are among the key accused in a multi-billion rupees money laundering scandal that surfaced last year and are facing multiple corruption references at accountability courts.