SC rejects Zardari's statement in NRO case

Published: August 29, 2018
"Zardari continues to play politics while his country disintegrates.”

"Zardari continues to play politics while his country disintegrates.”

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday expressed its displeasure over former president Asif Ali Zardari’s statement in the NRO case and instructed the PPP co-chairman to again record his statement.

The bench directed Zardari’s counsel to instruct the PPP co-chairman to record a statement regarding foreign assets and bank accounts owned by him during the last eleven years (2007-2018). The court also added that Zardari should also add, under oath, whether the properties were acquired through a trust fund.

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Questions were raised regarding the former president’s statement being leaked and summoned his staff for an explanation.

The bench has also asked Zardari to submit details of all assets owned by his children over the last ten years. This is the first time the SC has sought details of all local and foreign properties owned by Benazir Bhutto, Bilawal, Asifa and Bakhtawar Bhutto-Zardari.

When Zardari’s counsel, Farooq Naek, wondered why the bench is seeking more details, the CJP replied: “You [Zardari] are a public office holder and we want to examine your honesty under Article 62 (1) (f) of the constitution.”

The SC, displeased with the documents provided, further directed former presidents Zardari, Pervez Musharraf and former attorney general Malik Mohammed Qayyum to submit details of all movable or immovable properties and bank accounts held since 2007.

The trio has to submit their statement under oath within the next three weeks.

Musharraf has also been instructed to submit details of his children’s national and foreign properties and bank accounts. The former military dictator submitted an unverified statement under oath, his lawyer informed the court. The CJP questioned how Musharraf amassed so much wealth by “conducting lectures abroad”.

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Musharraf’s lawyer stated that his client’s foreign assets were acquired after he left the presidency. At this, the CJP instructed the counsel to inform Musharraf to clarify his stance in court. “Is such an amount received by giving lectures? Should I not also opt for lectures after retirement?” the CJP remarked.

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