Zardari, Bilawal record statements before NAB in Park Lane case

ISLAMABAD: Amid tight security, former president Asif Ali Zardari and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Wednesday appeared before the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in Islamabad and recorded their statements in the Park Lane Estate case.

They reached the NAB office in a convoy comprising over a dozen vehicles amid tight security. Their vehicles were surrounded by party workers who gathered there to express solidarity with them.

Sources said the father-son duo were interrogated by two different teams of the bureau in separate rooms for more than an hour and provided a questionnaire comprising 50 questions after their statements were recorded.

Earlier, at least five police personnel sustained wounds when PPP workers hurled stones at them in a bid to enter the NAB premises before the arrival of the PPP chairman and co-chairman, according to police sources. Subsequently, the police personnel retaliated by baton-charging and arresting some rowdy workers.

Following a call by the PPP leadership, hundreds of party workers turned up outside the NAB office to express solidarity with their leaders.

In a tweet, Bakhtawar Bhutto-Zardari, daughter of the former president, condemning the police action, said: “#PPP workers Baton charged & Arrested for showing support to @BBhuttoZardari & @AAliZardari outside #NAB today – what does this remind #Pakistan of?”

Stringent security arrangements were made in and around the old NAB headquarters to avoid any untoward incident.

Earlier, on March 19, the Sindh High Court (SHC) had granted protective bail for ten days to the former president in the fake bank accounts and Park Lane cases against a surety of Rs1 million each. It also accepted the bail plea from Faryal Talpur in the money laundering case for Rs1 million.

The PPP co-chairman and his sister Faryal Talpur along with their lawyer Farooq H Naek appeared in the court.

A banking court in Karachi had last week transferred the money laundering case against the former president, his sister and others to Rawalpindi on a request by NAB.

The court also cancelled the interim bail of the 19 suspects, including the PPP leaders in the case. The court directed the authorities to return surety amount to the suspects.