— Farooq Naek tells accountability watchdog father-son duo have no connection with Park Lane company
ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Thursday handed over a questionnaire to the counsels of former president Asif Ali Zardari and his son and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari as part of its probe into irregularities in the federal capital’s Park Enclave Housing Scheme.
Earlier, the accountability watchdog had summoned the PPP leaders in connection with the company reportedly co-owned by them.
PPP spokesperson Farhatullah Babar had earlier told reporters that Bilawal will not appear before the investigators while Farooq H Naek would represent him in the case.
As Farooq Naek represented the father and son duo before NAB on Thursday, he defended their absence on plausible grounds.
‘ZARDARI, BILAWAL NOT LINKED WITH PARK LANE COMPANY’:
Naek claimed that Zardari and Bilawal had no links with the Park Lane Company.
Talking to media after appearing before NAB, he said his clients had submitted all the relevant documents proving that they had nothing to do with the company.
Naek further said the demarcation of 2,760 acres of land was carried out in the presence of the Capital Development Authority (CDA), following which deputy commissioner of revenue declared the demarcation null and void on the request of the civic body.
After the cancellation, the land demarcation is still pending despite repeated requests of the company, he added.
He requested the authorities to withdraw the investigation against Zardari and Bilawal as “they had no role in any affair of the company”.
The former law minister was of the view that the parliament should make proper legislation regarding accountability, raising concerns over the existing NAB law.
On the occasion, PPP leader Nayyer Hussain Bokhari said that there was no such concept of ‘ordinance’ in a democratic set up rather legislation was made through the parliamentary process.
It has been reported that NAB has already confiscated the financial records of the private company and authorised an inquiry against officers/officials of the CDA for “illegally extending an undue benefit to M/s Park Lane Company (Pvt) Ltd through demarcation and handing over possession of 118K-14M forest land”.
Senior PPP leadership had reacted strongly to the notices. Terming the notices an “attempt to ramp up pressure on the party leadership”, Babar had said, “Thanks, NAB! Such acts are exposing your political motives.”
Bilawal’s spokesperson, Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, had also said that the notice was “ludicrous” because the PPP chief was being questioned over something that happened back when he was only a year old.
He had added that the notices were “nothing but political victimisation” and an attempt to “threaten the opposition”.
“The selected prime minister wants no one to have an opinion regarding his policies that are harmful to the economy and the country,” Khokhar had said and added that the “tyrannical rule” of PM Imran Khan was a “painful reminder” of the dictatorships.
It may be noted that Bilawal was also sent a “tough” questionnaire earlier this week by a joint investigation team (JIT) in a fake accounts case against his father, Zardari, and aunt, Faryal Talpur.