Co-chairman of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the 11th former President of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari has been arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) after his bail application was rejected by the Islamabad High Court (IHC).
Zardari, Pakistan’s ex-President and Co-Chairman Pakistan People’s Party, was arrested by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) from his residence called “Zardari House” in F-8 Sector of Islamabad. His arrest was on cards for some time in what is commonly referred to as the “Fake Accounts Case”. Now since he is finally arrested political circles and media pundits speculate feverishly on the implications of this arrest for Zardari, his son and Pakistani politics.
Co-chairman of Pakistan People’s Party and his sister, Faryal Talpur, and close aides are accused of money-laundering, of billions of rupees through the creation of fake bank accounts. NAB has apparently been able to establish transaction details between Asif Zardari and his aides and what is called, “Omni Group” headed by his close aide, Anwar Majeed. Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had started investigating strange but large banking transactions in 2016.
The former President and his party have used an indirect approach in their defense. They have avoided commenting on the substance of the case and its details and have instead focused on the political motivations of prosecution, PTI govt. and the hidden forces behind these cases – which is often a euphemistic reference towards Pakistan’s establishment. Several arguments have been advanced.
“Zardari was expected to be arrested. It is not something which was unexpected. However, it has some serious implications for the future of this country.
“The narrative of the opposition that in present Pakistan selective accountability is being done to target pro-democracy civilian leaders has become dominant and persuasive.”
The arrest of Zardari is going to create more challenges for the incumbent government since Nawaz Sharif is already behind the bars. “In such a situation the narrative to be built by the opposition is more important than the reality on ground.
But irrespective of this, Zardari is now old, weak and wanted his son to take over his mantle for sometime. Bilawal, in recent months, has appeared as a political leader in his own right and if there is no sustainable political campaign at this stage which looks unlikely then Asif Zardari will like to strike the last bargain of his life. A bargain for freedom and may be exist from Pakistan’s political scene.
But this will not satisfy his multiple enemies they will like him to cough up some billions before his disappearance. Most developments in Pakistan take place away from public eye. No one is expecting his legal challenges to affect the political career of Bilawal.