ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court Monday extended interim bail of former Sindh chief minister Qaim Ali Shah in a case pertaining to money laundering through fake bank accounts.

A division bench of IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani conducted hearing of the petition of former chief minister Sindh and extended his interim bail till April 30.

Previously, the same bench had granted pre-arrest interim bail to Qaim Ali Shah in a case pertaining to money laundering through fake bank accounts against Rs1 million surety bonds till the next date of hearing to be held April 8 (today) and directed him to cooperate with NAB.

Qaim Ali Shah , expressed the apprehension in his petition that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) officials might arrest him during his appearance before the investigation team, and requested the IHC to grant him pre-arrest bail on the grounds that he is a senior citizen.

The petitioner stated that he is 85 years old and thus entitled to pre-arrest bail due to his age.

On the last hearing, the counsel for the former CM informed the court that NAB had summoned Shah in connection with an investigation into Thatta Sugar Mills and Dadu Sugar Mills.

The court observed that the petition was about NAB’s call-up notice in the Thatta Sugar Mills inquiry. The counsel said that he would file another petition regarding the second NAB notice about the Dadu Sugar Mills inquiry.

Sindh ex-chief minister claims NAB humiliating him

The former chief minister has been named in a report by the joint investigation team tasked with probing the fake accounts case. He is among 172 people named in the report whose names were recommended for being placed on the no-fly list.

The senior politician in his petition contended that he was being politically victimized through the case, and claimed that he had been dragged into the case without any solid evidence.

He maintained that the NAB had no evidence against him and therefore prayed to the court to stop NAB from arresting him and grant pre-arrest bail.

Later speaking at a news conference, Qaim Ali Shah accused the National Accountability Bureau of humiliating him. Shah said NAB had given no evidence regarding the ‘fake references’ against him.

“My only crime is that I have tried to develop Sindh as the Chief Minister. NAB is trying to victimise the PPP leadership but they cannot undo the people’s love for the PPP,” he maintained.

Shah said during his tenure as the CM, he reduced the child marriages and fatalities in the far-flung areas. “We introduced health facilities in the villages to improve the life standards and provided electricity to the people,” he said.

The PPP leader said that he had been politically active since 1960 when he was elected chairman of the Khairpur district council and then successfully contested the general elections.

Shah said the PPP had initiated a number of development projects in Sindh and the people had voted for the party due to its performance.

The PPP leader said NAB should not target the opposition leaders on the basis of ‘politically motivated cases.’ “I have replied to all the NAB questions but they have not provided me s single evidence. This is only humiliation and victimisation,” he contended.