Govt imposes travel ban on Zardari

 Islamabad: The Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf-led government Thursday decided to place 172 people on the Exit Control List (ECL) including former president Asif Ali Zardari. Addressing a press conference after the federal cabinet meeting here, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhary said that the joint investigation team (JIT), investigating the alleged money laundering cases under the instructions of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, has revealed that government resources were used to launder money abroad. He vowed to ensure transparency in the accountability process regarding national assets. “We hope that Zardari will consider this JIT seriously,” he said. Regarding threats being given by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Altaf Hussain, he vowed that the matter would be raised with the British government as Abidi has been murdered following his threats. “We have seen Altaf Hussain’s incitement and orders from Britain to disrupt peace and commit murders here,” he said further, adding that his hate speech has went viral on the social media. Besides, he expressed annoyance over performance and result of CCTV cameras installed in Karachi. The information minister said that polls for the FATA’s provincial assembly will be held in June, and asserted that all basic necessities would be provided to the general public and the government has been committed to bring the tribal areas into the mainstream. He pledged that the government would increase reserved seats for women in the national assembly and senate. Earlier on December 24, the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), formed on the apex court’s orders to probe into the alleged money-laundering case, presented its 128-page final report to the court which included recommendations for filing 16 NAB references. Moreover, the report mentioned that earlier 29 fake accounts were identified by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) which laundered Rs42 billion, however, the team further discovered 11,500 bank accounts of 924 account holders, 59 Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) and 24,500 Cash Transactions Reports (CTRs). All of these details were scrutinized, besides the loan profile of 924 individuals. The report further concluded that the fake accounts were opened through the Omni Group, however the accounts had been engaged with direct transactions with the Zardari Group, Bahria Town, Sindh Government departments and certain contractors while the ultimate beneficiary of money laundering was Zardari’s family. The court has ordered Zardari to submit his reply by December 31.