PPP, PML-N signed “charter of corruption” : Fawad Chaudhry

Islamabad: Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Monday said the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) signed a “charter of corruption” in the past that barred them to investigate each other’s cases pertaining to money laundering and embezzlement. Addressing a press conference alongside special assistant to prime minister on accountability, Shehzad Akbar in Islamabad, Chaudhry said the incumbent government will comply with the Supreme Court orders and strike off the names of PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and Asif Ali Zardari’s counsel Farooq Naek. “We will remove their names but this does not mean that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) cannot summon them during the investigation,” he added. “Names are added to the ECL on the basis of a person’s “character” and not their official government position.” Terming Shah part of “thugs of Pakistan”, Chaudhry said Shah was the finance minister of Sindh during the days money was being embezzled through fake accounts. “The Sindh Bank directly falls under the provincial finance minister who must be aware of the corruption being carried out through various means.” He added that loans amounting to millions of rupees were granted by the Sindh Bank but were later written off. “Sindh Bank was used for reaping person benefits and CM Shah will be held accountable for it.” Pointing out the role of Naek, the information minister said, money paid through the fake accounts was deposited in Naek’s son’s account. “The impression given depicted that Naek was paid salary but that was just a cover.” Chaudhry said the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) report states that Omni group and Zardari had a nexus. “The real owner of Omni group is Asif Ali Zardari.” He said none of the accused responded to the allegations and termed it as malicious. “JIT findings have been sent to NAB and the investigation will be carried out within two months.” “All corrupt political opponents are united against us to save their corruption,” Chaudhry added. “I told Maulana Fazlur Rehman to name his group of corrupt leaders as the alliance for restoration of corruption.” Before the press conference concluded, the prime minister’s special assistant on accountability said “the SC decision is not a victory for the PPP” and also apprised the media about the unexplainable growth of Bahria Town and the kickbacks received for it. “Sindh government land was grabbed and distributed among friends. They will have to answer about the 262 acre grabbed land of Steel Mills and 7 acres of grabbed land  in Gulistan-e-Jauhar.” Akbar added that the anti-graft watch dog will prepare a questionnaire in light of the JIT findings and all the accused will have to submit their responses. “I pay tribute to the SC for conducting a thorough investigation into the fake bank accounts case just like they took up the foreign properties case.”