ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Monday again summoned Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Feb 13 in a corruption case pertaining to Opal-255 – a joint venture of the Zardari Group – which is said to be an offshoot of the fake bank accounts case.
The accountability watchdog, in its summons, also asked the PPP chairman to bring records of Zardari Group between 2008 and 2019.
The bureau has accused Bhutto of transferring billions of rupees to Opal-225 via fake bank accounts. The company also took loans of billions of rupees from banks, according to NAB.
During the investigations, Bhutto maintained that he was below the legal age when the transactions were made. However, reports have claimed on multiple occasions that the documents in question bear his signatures.
The bureau is investigating the fake bank accounts and money laundering case against the top PPP leadership and on Dec 9 last year, the bureau had filed eight references in the accountability court of Islamabad. On May 29 last year, NAB had served a 32-point questionnaire to the PPP chairperson during his short appearance in the bureau’s headquarters.
In December last year, the Bureau had summoned Bhutto in the said case however he had refused to appear before it, saying the call-up notice served to him is “unconstitutional and illegal”.
In addition to Bhutto, the case involves 172 important personalities, including PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, his sister Faryal Talpur, former Sindh chief minister Qaim Ali Shah, Anwar Siyal, Bahria Town owner Malik Riaz and others.
Meanwhile, Bhutto’s sister Bakhtawar Bhutto-Zardari has condemned the development and said it was meant to avenge Bilawal’s stand against inflation.
In response to his consistent stand against mehengai and increasing poverty, PTI’s strongman NAB conveniently summons @BBhuttoZardari yet again. The same NAB that somehow still holds authority above courts and elected representatives.
— Bakhtawar B-Zardari (@BakhtawarBZ) February 10, 2020