ISLAMABAD - Pakistan People’s Party’s legal wizards have decided to face all the pending corruption cases against former president Asif Ali Zardari in the accountability courts in the country head-on, which stand revived after lifting of the Presidential Immunity.
Sources in the party confirmed to The Nation that party leadership would face all the cases head-on as according to them all the cases were politically motivated and have nothing concrete against former president Zardari, who is the last surviving member of Bhutto family to face these cases.
These sources said that former president Asif Ali Zardari held series of meetings with legal wizards of the party and was determined to face the trial in these cases in person. However, the legal team of the former president was of the view that the party lawyers would appear before the court on his behalf and he should avoid appearing in these cases in person owing to serious security threats to his life.
When asked, these sources said that the legal team of Asif Ali Zardari was confident that as all the pending cases were politically motivated, so all the cases were framed on flimsy grounds and that was the reason almost all the co-accused in these cases were acquitted.
Currently the cases pending against Asif Ali Zardari which would stand revived after his relinquishing the office of President included SGS Reference, Cotechna Reference, ARY Gold Reference, Ursus Tractor Reference, Assets Reference, Steel Mills Reference and Polo Ground Reference.
Except in SGS and Cotechna references, which involve the directors of SGS and Cotechna companies who were declared proclaimed offenders, in rest of the cases all the co-accused were either dropped from these cases after the demise while rest of them were acquitted during the previous government led by Pakistan People’s Party.
In most of these corruption references former premier late Benazir Bhutto was principal accused while her mother late Nusrat Bhutto was also accused in a couple of these references, but their names were dropped from these cases after their demise.
Similarly former chairman CDA Shafi Sahwani and a few other accused in these cases had also passed away and the cases against them were also dropped.
The legal experts commenting on the pending cases against Asif Ali Zardari said that in the given situation when either the cases against co-accused were dropped due to their demise or they were acquitted for want of proof against them, the chances Asif Ali Zardari’s getting acquittal in these cases seemed bright.
It is pertinent to mention here that the pending inquiries against former premier Benazir Bhutto and her spouse Asif Ali Zardari in Switzerland were permanently closed and the investigation judge dealing these cases had declined the request extended by government of Pakistan for reopening of the inquiries in SGS and Cotechna cases.