ISLAMABAD (ENNS) The Supreme Court put to rest here on Thursday reports that Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur have been barred from leaving the country for their alleged involvement in a corruption case.
As a two-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar resumed hearing its suo motu notice into the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) probe of a Rs35 billion money-laundering scam, the bench clarified that neither was Zardari summoned in person today nor was the brother-sister duo placed on the Exit Control List (ECL) — contrary to earlier media reports.
Moreover, following reservations by PPP leaders that the party was being unfairly targetted before the July 25 election, the chief justice directed the FIA not to summon the brother-sister duo till the election.
On Wednesday, Zardari and Faryal had informed the FIA in Karachi that they would reply to its notice in the scam after the July 25 election.
During proceedings, the chief justice remarked that the defence counsels should have approached the apex court if they had reservations about the top court’s orders.
He then inquired from the attorney general that if its order doesn’t mention Zardari’s placement on the ECL, how such reports were aired in the media. The chief justice added that only those persons were ordered to be on the no-fly list who have criminal cases registered against them.
The bench also wondered that since Zardari is just a suspect, how he could be placed on the ECL.
Chief Justice Nisar remarked that it will direct the FIA not to display bias against anyone during the investigation as it only seeks a transparent inquiry into the corruption scandal.
The hearing was later adjourned until August 6.
Zardari’s counsel Farooq Naek told the media after the hearing that the bench observed that it does not want the election transparency affected.
“This is all being done to bring a bad name to the PPP,” he claimed, referring to the mega scandal.
Naek also clarified that the PPP supremo has no association with Zardari Pvt Ltd, which is being probed by the FIA in the scam.