Islamabad: The treatment of former President Asif Ali Zardari despite there not being a single charge that has been proven against him has exposed the government’s true intent of using the rhetoric of accountability as a tool for their own political gains, said PPP’s Parliamentary Leader in the Senate, Senator Sherry Rehman Wednesday.
“The PPP has never been afraid of accountability but the government cannot use it as a tool to silence and target their political opponents. We should not forget that President Asif Ali Zardari has spent 11 and half years in prison before without any conviction. We will not be silenced and will keep raising our voice against a system where dictators accused of treason do not appear in courts for years while the politicians go to jail pre-trial and on cases pending investigation.” She said in a statement.
She added: “Doctors from all sides including NAB are saying he is not in a condition to be kept out of the hospital. This poses a clear risk to his life and the government should know that if God forbid something untoward happens to him, they will be known as murderers. How can such unlawful punishment be meted out to someone under investigation only, not under trial or conviction?” inquired the parliamentary leader. “The government needs to give us an assurance that they will move President Asif Ali Zardari back to the hospital.”
Sherry Rehman said: “NAB is being pressurized not to disclose his medical reports and the doctors have had to give in to the pressure to shift Mr. Zardari to Adiala despite the fact that his condition requires he be given proper medical care. His doctors have informed his daughter, Aseefa Bhutto Zardari, that three of his arteries are blocked and that spinal issues that he developed in his previous incarceration have resurfaced. The government will be responsible if its rigidity causes his health to further deteriorate.”
“A swarm of 30 police officers came surrounding him when his daughter came to meet him with court orders that allowed her to do so. The women police manhandled her and tried to physically restrain her from meeting her father. They were determined to not let his daughter even see his face. He has now been moved back to jail against the advice of doctors. Is this how former Presidents with no convictions are treated in Madina’s riyasat that the Prime Minister wants to build?” questioned the Senator.
Rehman said, “This government has been pointing towards the Indian State’s insensitivity towards the people of Kashmir but at home it feels so threatened by the opposition that it will form chains just to prevent a daughter from meeting her ailing father. Why are the representatives of the people being treated like terrorists?”
The senator concluded, “The government will never be able to shroud its economic and political failures behind its fake display of justice and accountability. People have suffered every single day under PTI’s term. They have seen themselves how this selected government backtracked on its promises of giving homes and employment to the poor and bringing back looted wealth. Where is this wealth? Several opposition leaders have been locked up but not a dime has been retrieved”.