Bilawal demands resignation of NA Speaker, Deputy Speaker

Islamabad: Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Monday demanded resignation of Speaker and Deputy Speaker National Assembly for being impartial.

Addressing press conference in Islamabad after National Accountability Bureau (NAB) arrested former president and party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, Bilawal said, “Speaker and Deputy Speaker National Assembly are working as an extension of the government. They must resign because they are impartial.”

The PPP chairman said that he was not allowed to speak in the parliament second time, adding, “I strongly condemn the attitude of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker.”

Bilawal said under Article-10A, every Pakistani has the right to free trial, adding that the government do not even let them cry. “PPP believes in rule of law and will face all the cases,” he said and added his party had announced to start a mass contact campaign before Eidul Fitr.

He said that the future course of action would be decided in a meeting of the party’s Central Executive Committee (CEC).

Bilawal said: “Looks like the government doesn’t want to run the National Assembly, adding that the production orders are Asif Zardari’s right.”

Earlier today, Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had appealed party’s die-hard supporters to remain peaceful after Islamabad High Court (IHC) rejected Asif Ali Zardari and Faryal Talpur’s pre-arrest bail plea in the money laundering case.

He said that they are waiting for IHC s written order, adding that future strategy will be decided once the party receives the order.

Former president and Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on Monday surrendered himself to a team of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) after Islamabad High Court (IHC) rejected Asif Ali Zardari and Faryal Talpur’s pre-arrest bail plea in the money laundering case.

Following the refusal of his pre-arrest bail, a team of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) accompanied by police personnel had reached the residence of PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari in order to arrest him.

PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Asifa Bhutto were present on the ocassion. The NAB team did not arrest Faryal Talpur though.

Asif Zardari was taken to NAB office in Rawalpindi where he was shifted and to cell no 2. The former president will be presented before the accountability court on Tuesday where the NAB will appeal for his remand.

Heavy contingent of police had been deployed near Zardari House to avoid any untoward incident. All the roads leading to Zardari House had been sealed off.

Small scuffles erupted between police and supporters of Zardari s Pakistan People s Party (PPP) outside his family s residence in Islamabad as he was taken into custody.

The charges in the latest case centre around allegations Zardari laundered vast sums of money through suspect bank accounts and companies.

Earlier today, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had rejected the permanent bail application filed by former president and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and his sibling Faryal Talpur in the mega money laundering case.

Subsequently, the court had allowed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to arrest both PPP leaders. A two-member division bench comprising of Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani and Justice Aamer Farooq took up the case.

NAB is conducting investigations in pursuance of the Supreme Court’s verdict in the money laundering of billions through fake accounts case wherein it forwarded the joint investigation team (JIT) report with directions to investigate and file references.

Earlier, the case was being heard in a banking court in Karachi but had been shifted to an accountability court in Islamabad upon an appeal by the NAB.

Last year, authorities discovered several accounts in the name of poor people that had been flooded with cash, then suddenly emptied. Supreme Court established a commission in September to investigate the scourge, finding that at least US$400 million had passed through “thousands of false accounts”.

Zardari has repeatedly dismissed allegations he had a hand in the scheme. Never popular and always shrouded in controversy, Zardari — who was once jailed for 11 years for corruption — stepped down from the president s office in 2013. But he has continued to serve as co-chairman of the opposition PPP.

The arrest comes as the economy continues to spiral and discontent simmers in Pakistan following repeated devalutions of the rupee, soaring inflation, and rising utility prices.

Khan, a longtime foe of Zardari, was elected prime minister last year after running a heated campaign vowing to crackdown on corruption. Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif is also currently behind bars, after being sentenced to seven years in prison late last year on corruption charges.