PPP chairman appears before NAB as PPP workers clash with police in Islamabad

ISLAMABAD: Police and Pakistan People’s Party workers clashed as Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari appeared before the National Accountability Bureau on Wednesday in relation to the fake accounts case.

Former president Asif Ali Zardari and his son party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari were to appear separately before the NAB on May 29.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari arrived at NAB headquarters, where workers chanted slogans in his favour. The PPP chairman left NAB headquarters after being questioned. 

Police used water cannon to stop PPP workers from moving forward. At D-chowk, PPP workers and police broke into a scuffle as well.

Earlier, former president Zardari excused himself from appearing before the NAB in relation to the fake accounts case, official informed.

This will be the second time, the former president excused himself from presenting before the probe authority. The NAB will decide about the non-appearance of former president Zardari in the case later in the day, official said.

Due to the likely arrival of the PPP leaders in the capital, the Islamabad administration had banned the entry of ‘jiyalas’ in the federal capital.

The city administration ordered to restrict arrival of PPP workers from other cities, saying that the presence of party workers can lead to chaos.

The administration sealed the entry routes to the federal capital, in order to stop PPP workers from arriving. Moreover, PPP leaders and workers were stopped from reaching Zardari House.

“Govt has no tolerance for constructive criticism”

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, before leaving, expressed gratitude to his supporters for the messages of support and said, “Despite CJ Nisar announcing that I am innocent, govt has no tolerance for constructive criticism and opposition voices, continue to persecute political opponents. Luckily I’ve had a lot of practice.”

In another tweet, the PPP leader refuted calls for a protest and said, “Despite no official call to protest, party workers have begun to reach Islamabad. In violation of every Pakistanis democratic rights of freedom of assembly panicked government released a midnight notification to harass opponents in KP, Punjab and Islamabad. Dartay hain Tabdelee walay.”

NAB had summoned Zardari and Bilawal separately in the fake accounts case.

PPP Punjab Secretary General Chaudhry Manzoor said that stopping ‘jiyalas’ is a cowardly move and PPP workers will reach the federal capital today.

Manzoor said that the democratic rights of the workers are being usurped.

The probe body had summoned father and son to likely record their statements in the fake accounts case.

The accountability bureau summoned the former president for a second time for questioning in the investigation of corruption cases involving power projects and awarding of illegal contracts.

The case

The FIA is investigating 32 people in relation to money laundering from fictitious accounts, including Zardari and Talpur. Zardari’s close aide Hussain Lawai was arrested in July last year in connection with the probe.

The former president’s close aide and Omni Group chairman Anwar Majeed and his son, Abdul Ghani, were arrested by FIA in August 2018.

Over 20 ‘benami’ accounts at some private banks were opened in 2013, 2014 and 2015 from where transactions worth billions of rupees were made, according to official.

The amount, according to FIA official, is said to be black money gathered from various kickbacks, commissions and bribes.