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Courting the Law
Asif Ali Zardari

Courting the Law

PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari has begun to reap the benefits of the amendments made to the NAB laws this year

ISLAMABAD: Former president Asif Ali Zardari has begun to reap the benefits of the amendments made to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) laws this year and is set to get relief from the courts in the various corruption references filed against him over the past five years.

In the Thatta water supply reference, the accountability court in Islamabad has sent the reference back to National Accountability Bureau,  while in a money laundering case worth around Rs 35 billion, the court has reserved its verdict. Zardari’s lawyer has requested the court following the amendment in NAB laws, that the money landering case does not fall under the jurisdiction of NAB anymore.

Earlier on Thursday, the accountability court judge Rana Nasir sent back the Thatta water supply reference against former president Asif Ali Zardari to the National Accountability Bureau, saying that “the case does not come under the jurisdiction of the court.”

The court has directed the accountability watchdog to refer the reference to a concerned forum.


The accountability court had earlier reserved its verdict over the acquittal plea of former president Asif Ali Zardari in the case.

It is pertinent to note here that the anti-graft body had nominated Zardari, Ejaz Ahmed Khan and 12 other suspects in the supplementary reference filed in connection with the Thatta water supply scam. The bureau had not nominated Zardari in the interim reference.

The Thatta Water Supply is a supplementary reference and is part of the fake bank accounts and mega money-laundering scam references, filed by the NAB against Asif Zardari.

Similarly, a Karachi-based private company, Park Lane Estate Pvt Ltd, had purchased almost 2,500 kanals of land near Sangjani in Islamabad from Faisal Sakhi Butt, who himself had purchased the land from a Pakistani American living in Houston, USA, namely Muhammad Nasir Khan, for merely Rs 62 million.

Nasir Khan was the original purchaser of this land in 1994 and was alleged by the accountability watchdog in 1997 to be Zardari’s frontman. However, all the legal requirements were met and followed in the purchase and transfer of this land from one man to another and then to Park Lane Estate Pvt Ltd, which was a Karachi-based company.

According to the Form-A Annual Return of the company, its share capital, as reflected in the Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) record then, showed it had 120,000 shares of which Zardari and Bilawal owned 30,000 shares each. Zardari was shown as a director and his son as a member with four others who appeared as members and debenture holders.


Zardari was alleged to have forcibly acquired the 2,500 kanals of land uprooting 300 families to set up a polo ground and a riding pavilion in Sangjani.

In a money laundering reference of around Rs 35 billion against Asif Ali Zardari, his sister Faryal Talpur and others, the accountability court has reserved its verdict after the defense lawyer told the court that the case does not doesn’t come under this court’s jurisdiction following the recent amendments made to the NAB laws. He requested the court to send back this reference to NAB.

Earlier, during a hearing, Zardari’s counsel Farooq H Naek told the accountability court Judge Nasir Javed Rana that his client is facing charges of corruption worth Rs 30 billion but the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was unable to prove the charges.

It must be mentioned here that in October 2020, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had issued arrest warrants of former president and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari in the mega money laundering case.

According to the FIR registered by FIA, transactions of billions of rupees were made into suspicious accounts, including the Zardari Group, owned by the PPP leaders.

In December 2016, the Pakistan Rangers conducted raids at the Karachi office of the Omni Group of Companies and the residence of its owner Anwar Majeed and confiscated records allegedly related to money laundering.


The accountability court in Islamabad had then indicted the former president, his sister Faryal Talpur and other accused in the case in which around Rs 35 billion were transferred through 29 fake accounts.


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