Media trial of party leadership must stop, urge PPP leaders

KARACHI: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leaders criticised the speculations regarding the arrests of former president Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur and said that the media trial of party leadership needs to stop.

Senior PPP leader Khursheed Shah while speaking to the media following Zardari and Talpur’s bail hearing said, “The joint investigation team (JIT) has no evidence against the former president and his sister and false information is being spread. This is nothing new for PPP and neither you nor we have seen the JIT report.”

“Media trials are unfortunate and shape the perspective of people,” he lamented. “Media trials take over judicial trials and Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has become a silent spectator,” he added.

“Our media trial is being conducted and JIT report is leaked every now and then,” the PPP leader further said. “Media trials are conducted before judicial trials and despite court orders sub-judice matters are discussed,” Shah lamented.

“We have experienced individuals and dictators and seen all judges from the time of Justice Munir to Justice Saqib Nisar. We have seen good and bad court decisions and even seen Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry who allowed a dictator to make an amendment in the Constitution,” the PPP leader asserted.

Regarding the large number of party members gathered at the premises of the banking court during the hearing, Shah said, “They had gathered because there was so much media coverage, if there were be no cameras then workers wouldn’t have come either.”

Further, PPP leader Rehman Malik urged that those who spread rumours were that Zardari will be arrested today should now apologise. “Fake cases against PPP leaders is nothing new,” he said while urging that media trial of party leadership needs to stop.

“Till the investigation against Zardari and Talpur is not complete the allegations levelled against them are just allegations and the case should not be discussed till it is in court,” Malik added.

Nisar Khuhro also spoke to media persons outside the banking court and said, “We respect courts and come here with the hope that justice is served.”

“Zardari and Talpur are on bail and a negative propaganda should not be spread, case hearings are a routine matter,” Khuhro said.

Earlier today, a banking court extended the interim pre-arrest bail of Zardari and Talpur till January 7 in an ongoing money laundering case.

The former president and his sister appeared before the court as the interim bail granted to them ended today. A large number of PPP workers and senior party leaders, including Khursheed Shah and Rehman Malik, had gathered outside the court premises as reports earlier circulated that Zardari may have been arrested today.