ISLAMABAD - National Accountability Bureau, Rawalpindi, summoned Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and his father, former president Asif Ali Zardari, on December 13 in Park Lane Estates case.

On May 24, the Executive Board of the NAB had given approval of investigations into allotment of acres of the protected forest land in Islamabad to a Karachi-based real estate firm, Park Lane Estates.

The Executive Board authorised investigations against officers of CDA, M/s Park Lane Estates and others. In this case, they have been accused of illegally allotting forest department land to Park Lane Estate and causing a huge loss to the national exchequer.

NAB sources told The Nation that Asif Zardari, Bilawal Bhutto and others jointly owned Park Lane Estates and they purchased more than 2,500 kanals of land near Sangjani in March 2009 from Faisal Sakhi Butt.

They said that Faisal Butt is considered a close aide to former president Zardari and he looked after the Zardari’s Islamabad affairs during PPP’s last tenure. They said that Butt had said that he had purchased the 2,500 kanals from a Pakistani American Nasir Khan who was living in USA for merely Rs62 million in 1995.

The PPP government, the sources said, tried to change the status of Zone-III of Islamabad, where any kind of construction activities are banned under zoning regulations in order to get an approval from the federal cabinet regarding housing and commercial activities in the area. However, the move remained unsuccessful, the sources added.

They said that NAB investigation team will record the statements of Bilawal and his father Asif Zardari separately in this case.

Confirming the development, NAB spokesperson has issued one-line statement regarding the issuance of summons to Asif Zardari and Bilawal and said, “NAB Rawalpindi has called Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in Park Lane company case on December 13.”

PPP lawyers to represent Bilawal

According to a private TV channel, senior PPP leader Farhatullah Babar confirmed that Bilawal had received a notice from the NAB, however his legal counsel Farooq H Naek would appear before the anti-graft watchdog instead of the PPP chairman.

Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, the spokesman to the PPP Chairman, also confirmed that Chairman Bilawal has received notice from the NAB and a team of lawyers will appear before NAB Rawalpindi on December 13 on behalf of Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

In a statement issued in Islamabad on Sunday, the spokesman dubbed the notice ludicrous because Chairman Bilawal is being asked about issues which occurred when he was only a year old. He said that these NAB notices are nothing but political victimisation and threatening the opposition of the government. The selected PM wants nobody to have opinions regarding his policies which is harmful for the economy and the country.

Senator Khokhar said that the tyrannical rule of PM-select Imran Khan and his ministers is a painful reminder of the past dictatorships. PPP has had its fair share of such notices in the past and these petty schemes will never stop PPP from speaking for the people, he concluded.

On other hand, Zardari, Bialwal Bhutto and Faryal Talpur are facing an investigation in money laundering case and the former president and his sister have already appeared before a joint investigation team in this regard. The JIT has sent two notices to Bilawal for recording his statement and it has also sent a questionnaire to him about his bank details. Bilawal submitted his reply on November 29.

 

NAB a string-puppet of Imran: PPP

 

In a separate statement issued in Islamabad on Sunday, PPP leader Saeed Ghani said that NAB does not have the courage to summon Prime Minister Imran Khan’s sister Aleema Khan in ill-gotten assets case because NAB is not being used for accountability but for political victimisation.

Saeed Ghani said that a false press release was issued on Saturday to keep the meeting between Chairman NAB and Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday a secret. Chairman NAB has become a puppet of Imran Khan and the institution of NAB has become only a tool in the hands of Prime Minister Imran Khan to victimise his political opponents. Similarly FIA like NAB is busy in media trial of politicians who politically oppose the prime minister.

Saeed Ghani said that the society will be destroyed if the institutions are run with dual standards. This will result in chaos and anarchy, the PPP leader warned.

 

NAB summons Zardari, Bilawal on 13th