ISLAMABAD - The government yesterday claimed Pakistan People’s Party Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari had 32 benami (fictitious) companies including sugar mills and cement factories which have been frozen. Speaking at a news conference here along with federal ministers Hammad Azhar and Ali Zaidi, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Accountability Shehzad Akbar said in connection with Omni Group case, Zardari’s properties had been frozen after investigation. “Benami shares in Thatta Cement and other companies have also been frozen,” Akbar said. Shehzad Akbar said that action against these benami properties will be taken as per law.

“These properties will be seized if no proof of ownership is presented within 60 days,” he added. The PPP reacted to the government claims saying the rulers were only trying to divert public attention.

Secretary General PPP Syed Nayyar Hussain Bukhari said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had “miserably failed in running the country” and the government was making noise of accountability just to divert attention from hunger, price hike, unemployment and people’s sufferings.

Properties will be seized if no ownership presented within 60 days

In a statement, Bukhari said that such stories and propaganda had failed to befool the people of Pakistan. “Instead  of presenting evidence in the courts against Asif Ali Zardari the government is running a media trial campaign against PPP leadership. Such campaign was also run by Saifur Rehman in the past and today Saifur Rehman is in the dust bin of history,” he reminded. Bukhari said that State Bank report was exposing failed PM and his government.

“Stock Exchange is sinking by the day, factories and businesses are closing down, unemployment and price hike are on the rise, utility bills have tripled and these all are exposing the failed prime minister and his government. PTI does not have program to give relief to the people so it is maligning opposition through media trial. PPP has always faced courts and have been exonerated from such frivolous and false allegations in the past,” he said.

Shehzad Akbar also said that properties of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s sons Hassan and Hussain, Shehbaz Sharif’s son Suleman Shehbaz and son-in-law Ali Imran will be confiscated.

He said all the four accused residing in London “have been declared offenders and the law allows confiscation of their properties if they do not return to Pakistan.”

He added: “The process will be initiated soon and all properties, shares, bank accounts owned by them will be confiscated.”

Shehzad Akbar said that a request for their extradition will also be filed.

“Option to take legal action against them is also being reviewed because they have committed several crimes on British soil as well,” he contended.