KARACHI  - Federal anti-corruption court on Wednesday deferred indictment of former prime minister Yousuf Raza gilani in as many as 26 cases stemming from a multi-billion Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) scam

The judge deferred the indictment of the former premier owing to the absence of his counsel, Farooq H Naek. 

His junior associate told the court that Naek couldn’t appear before it as he was busy at the Peshawar High Court. The court, therefore, adjourned the hearing till March 21. The PPP leader turned up before the court for trial proceedings. 

It has been around six years now since corruption charges were instituted against gilani and others, but their trial is proceeding at a snail’s pace, which is evident from the fact that the charges against them couldn’t be framed even after the passage of significant time. 

gilani , who remained premier in the previous PPP government until he was dislodged in a contempt of court case at the hands of the apex court, faces charges of massive corruption in disbursement of trade subsidies. 

Speaking to the media after court appearance, Syed Husuf Raza gilani said he was appearing before the trial court despite having been granted exemption. 

Commenting on the recent Lodhran by-poll, he said a change in the shape of PTI leader Jahangir Tareen had swept across Lodhran, but the people rejected his politics this time. He passed on good wishes to the winning PML-N candidate. gilani said PTI’s defeat in Lodhran was reaction to party chief Imran Khan’s anti-parliament rhetoric. He said he along with other PPP leaders, revamping the party in Punjab and hoped it would emerge again on the province’s political landscape after the upcoming general elections.