ISLAMABAD: Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has said PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, who is suffering from various ailments due to spending 11 years in detention, should receive relief like the one given to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
“Zardari already spent 11 years in jail, but nothing came out against him. He should be released immediately,” said the chief minister in an interview on the Express News programme ‘Center Stage with Rehman Azhar’ on Friday.
To a question, the chief minister said there was nothing in the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) case registered against him, adding that his name appeared in the joint investigation team (JIT) report last year.
The Supreme Court asked during the hearing that who ordered to place the names of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Murad Ali Shah on the Exit Control List (ECL), said Murad, adding that the court ordered to remove the names from the ECL and also from the JIT report.
“Our names were removed from the ECL, but NAB called me twice and I appeared before it. They handed me a questionnaire. I did not appear a third time; however, whenever they call me, I will appear,” said Murad. “There was nothing in the case against me which is why I was not arrested.”
Murad demanded of the federal government to hand over £190 million received from London to Sindh, saying there is no question that the amount belongs to the provincial government.
The CM said, “The money will be spent under the supervision of the Sindh government. No one else can take it or spend it.”
On relations with the federal government, the Murad said when he first became the chief minister in 2016, he met the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif and things were going on well. Then with Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, matters progressed in a good manner.
“As Imran Khan became the prime minister, my expectations rose as PTI was the second largest party, but unfortunately the government did not convene the meeting of the Council of Common Interests (CCI) during its first year, which according to the Constitution should be held once every 90 days. Now, on December 11, a meeting of the CCI has been convened,” said Murad. “It is hoped that the issues between the Sindh government and the federation would be discussed.”
To a question, the CM said, “The Sindh government allowed [JUI-F chief] Maulana Fazlur Rehman to hold a rally and provided security to him. The federal government said to provide him security as he was under threat, but according to the Constitution, whoever, including the PTI, organises a rally or meeting, the Sindh government would allow it.”
On extension in the army chief’s tenure, Murad questioned the credibility of the person issuing the notification, saying a “person who made so many mistakes in issuing a notification and who is the reason behind conflicts in many institutions, how he can bring a constitutional amendment”.
He said that he fully endorsed and supported the stance of Bilawal that the federal government would be changed soon. “The Supreme Court has ordered a constitutional amendment on the issue of extension in the tenure of the army chief within six months, which is why the federal government will soon change,” he added.
On the girl’s kidnapping from Karachi’s Defence area, Murad said he could not sleep at night because of the matter.
He said, “The provincial government takes full responsibility. I get details of the case three times a day. Apart from the police, we are also seeking help from other agencies to resolve the issue as soon as we can.
“The top priority is the safe recovery of Dua Mangi and I am dealing with this case as if it were my own.”
Nawaz left for London on November 19 for medical treatment for four weeks.
The former premier was granted bail by the high courts in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case on humanitarian grounds.