ISLAMABAD - Former president and Pakistan People’s Party Co-Chairperson Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday contended before the Supreme Court that the petition regarding National Reconciliation Ordinance 2007 (NRO) was only an attempt to politically victimise him.

He further contended that cases against him were reopened after the top court had set aside the NRO and he had been acquitted from all the allegations.

Zardari, through his counsel Farooq H. Naek, filed his reply on a petition seeking recovery of the losses the country incurred after the promulgation of the NRO.

The petition was filed by Feroze Shah Gillani wherein he requested the court to take action to recover the amount stolen through promulgation of NRO 2007.

Besides former president Zardari, his predecessor General (Retd) Pervez Musharraf, former attorney general Malik Mohammad Qayyum and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) were also made respondents.

A month ago in April, Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar had issued notices to Zardari and Musharraf and directed them to submit their replies in a month.

Zardari in his reply contended that the petition was frivolous, vexatious and a classic example of a politically motivated to malign him so that maximum political damage is caused to him and the PPP.

The reply added that the petition was in furtherance of malicious design specifically in order to defame, disparage and malign the reputation of one of the largest political parties of Pakistan and its co-chairperson.

“The petition is misconceived insofar as it has failed to take into account the lengthy litigation which has already taken place with regard to the subject matter of the instant petition. Hence the instant petition has been filed deliberately ignoring the facts of the case,” it added.

All such allegations and accusations were rebutted and proved false which is evident from the fact of the acquittal of Zardari in all criminal cases pending against him, the reply further argued.

The mala fide and ulterior motives upon which the instant petition has been filed is evident from the fact that it is based on a news report and no other supporting evidence has been attached, it added.

The reply contended that the petitioner also failed to agitate any appeal against the orders of the acquittal and he had also not submitted any application to the prosecution leading to agitate in appeals.

“Throughout the course of history the answering respondent (Zardari) has been made to suffer on account of political victimisation and mudslinging. The answering respondent has time and again been made the target of political vendetta and vengeance,” the reply stated.

“He (Zardari) seen the rigors of jail numerous times in false and politically motivated cases for accumulative period of more than eleven years and has done so having faith in the independence of judiciary and the justice system of Pakistan,” it added.

It further stated that in 2007, certain political elements realised that politically motivated cases existed against politicians and it was in no one’s benefit to continue with their prosecution.

Zardari in his reply further stated that he had no role in the promulgation of NRO, adding after the top court had set aside the Ordinance, eight reopened cases which were concluded on merits and he was acquitted in all pending cases.

“As regards the cases pending before the Swiss Courts it is pertinent to mention that Attorney General of Geneva had actually finished the cases on merits as well,” it added.

No case of causing loss to the public exchequer or looting and plundering national wealth has ever been proved against Zardari in Pakistan or abroad, it added. Zardari requested the top court to dismiss the petition with punitive cost.

– ASKS WORKERS TO SUPPORT PARTY CANDIDATES

Staff Reporter from Lahore adds: Former President and President PPP Parliamentarians Asif Ali Zardari has instructed party workers to work together for the party’s nominated candidates in the forthcoming elections.

“PPP opponents have nothing against the party except false and concocted allegations and tall and shallow claims”, he said while speaking to the party workers from constituency NA-57 at Bilawal House Lahore.

Zardari said that party leadership always sided with the people of Pakistan and fulfilled their promises.

He said that PPP always represented the downtrodden masses and will continue to do so in future also. PPP, he added, was struggling for social justice and equality.

Also, Chief of Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Pakistan Abul Khair Zubair also called on the former President at Bilawal House Lahore and discussed current political situation focusing the forthcoming elections.