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SC to sought 10-year assets record of Pervez Musharraf-Asif Zardari

30 August, 2018

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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought a 10-year record of the assets and foreign and local bank accounts owned by former presidents Pervez Musharraf and Asif Ali Zardari.

A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar heard the case related to the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) passed by Musharraf in 2007. The counsels of Zardari and Musharraf appeared before the top court.

As the hearing started, the court expressed lack of confidence in the affidavit submitted by former president Asif Zardari and sought details of his assets from 2007 onwards. “My client served nine years in jail but nothing was proved against him,” Zardari’s counsel Farooq H Naik told the court. The chief justice then questioned the former president’s counsel, “Does Zardari have an account in Switzerland? Or was the account in former prime minister Benazir Bhutto or their children’s names?” The chief justice further asked that Zardari in his affidavit must state whether he formed a trust or not.

The bench asked Zardari to submit details of all assets owned by his children also over the last 10 years. When Zardari’s counsel wondered why the bench was seeking more details, the CJP replied, “You [Zardari] are a public office holder and we want to examine your honesty under Article 62 (1)(f) of the constitution.”

The bench also sought details of assets owned by Pervez Musharraf in Pakistan. The former military ruler’s counsel in response said, “Nothing has been hidden from the court.”

In response to Musharraf’s counsel, the chief justice remarked that the court won’t allow him to conceal any information. “Musharraf should also submit asset details of his wife and children within 10 days,” he said. “I’ve heard that Musharraf received gifts from Saudi Arabia,” he added.

The former military ruler’s counsel informed the bench, “My client has 92,000 dirhams in one bank account and he owns three cars, including a jeep and a Mercedes.” The chief justice then questioned if Musharraf could buy a flat from the salary he drew during his working days. “Ask him to appear before the court and clarify,” he said.

Musharraf’s counsel said, “My client bought foreign assets after his presidency.” To this, the chief justice questioned, “Do lecturers get paid this much? May be I should also give lectures after retirement.”
The court then ordered that a 10-year record of Zardari and Musharraf’s assets and foreign and local bank accounts be submitted. The bench directed that the former presidents submit detailed affidavits within 15 days.

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