LAHORE - An Accountability Court has decided to indict former president and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on September 9 in National Accountability Bureau‘s (NAB) Toshakhana reference.

According to details, accountability judge Asghar Ali on Monday heard the case during which, Asif Ali Zardari appeared before the court while former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani and Omni Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdul Ghani Majeed were directed to ensure their presence in the next hearing.

The PPP leader had earlier decided to skip the appearance after which the court had ordered his counsel Farooq H Naek to call him to attend the case proceedings at all costs. Following the directives, the ex-president arrived at the court and attended the hearing.

PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and other party leaders including Sherry Rehman and Qamar Zaman Kaira were already present in the court to express support for Asif Ali Zardari.

Strict security arrangements were put in place to avoid any untoward incident as PPP activists thronged the court in large number. The PPP workers also exchanged harsh words with security personnel after they were not allowed to enter the court premises Many PPP workers were stopped at Srinagar Highway.

NAB prosecutor said that Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif got luxury cars from ex-PM Yousaf Raza Gillani through illegal way. Zardari had only paid 15 percent cost of the cars by using his fake accounts, however, Libya and United Arab Emirates (UAE) also gifted him cars when he was serving as president, he told.

NAB  official alleged that Asif Ali Zardari used these cars for personal purpose instead of submitting them to Toshakhana. Nawaz Sharif got car without any application in 2008 when he was not holding any public office, the anti-corruption watchdog’s representative stated.

Accountability court had issued non-bailable arrest warrants against former Prime Minister  Nawaz Sharif and ex-president Asif Ali Zardari over their continuous absence in multiple court hearings. The warrants were released on the request of NAB prosecutor. The court had also issued advertisement of PML-N supremo and ex-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif declaring him a proclaimed offender.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif had challenged his summoning by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the Toshakhana reference in the Islamabad High Court (IHC). The former prime minister requested the court to nullify the accountability court’s decision to advertise his summons in the case and continue his trial through a representative. He argued that he was not a fugitive and had gone abroad for medical treatment after obtaining bail from court. The PML-N supremo maintained in his petition that the NAB is targeting the opposition to silence its voice. 

NAB had seized vehicles of Mian Nawaz Sharif and former president Asif Ali Zardari in Toshakhana case. The anti-graft watchdog had also frozen the ownership of Asif Zardari’s three vehicles including two BMW and one Lexus car. NAB also froze the ownership of one Mercedes owned by PML-N leadaer Nawaz Sharif.