KARACHI: Former president Asif Ali Zardari and sister Faryal Talpur’s pre-arrest
A banking court in Karachi on Friday extended till January 7 the pre-arrest bails of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and his sister, Faryal Talpur, who are among the accused in a mega money laundering scandal.
A large number of the PPP supporters had gathered outside the court premises prior to arrival of the siblings whose previous bail expired on Thursday. The PPP, fearing possible arrest of its leaders, had asked it workers to reach the court with the PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto vowing to offer ‘resistance’.
Raising party slogans like ‘Aik Zardari Sab Par Bhari [Zardari is the dominant one]’, some of these PPP worker even entered the courtroom when Zardari and Talpur appeared before the court and stood on benches – to the displeasure of the judge.
The PPP top leader Khursheed Shah, Rehman Malik, Latif Khosa, Saeed Ghani, Qaim Ali Shah, Nisar Khoro, Imtiaz Sheikh, Rashid Rabbani, Waqar Mehdi and many others were also present in the banking court. After marking their attendance, the judge extended bails of Zardari and Talpur till January 7.
The banking court also inquired about other accused – Anvar Majid, Hussain Lawai and Ghani Majid –who did not appear before the court on Friday despite a summons.
The jail administration told the court that Majid could not be presented before the court because of his illness while Ghani and Hussain Lawai are in Rawalpindi’s Adiala jail. The counsel, Shaukat Hayat, said Lawai and Majid were shifted to Punjab on order of the Supreme Court to ensure fair investigation.
The court ordered the jail authorities to explain why Lawai and Ghani Majid were not presented and directed the counsels to submit a written application.
Regarding holding some absentees to be absconders, the investigating officer said the process in this regard is under way and requested for some more time. The court ordered him to complete the process. The accused include five persons including Hussain Lotha, Arif Khan and Azam Wazir Khan.