Pakistan erupted into protests as supporters cried foul against the arrest of former president Asif Ali Zardari in a fake bank accounts case. The bench of the Islamabad High Court rejected a plea filed by Zardari, the co-chairman of Pakistan Peoples Party, and Faryal Talpur, his sister, seeking an extension to their interim bail.
The widower of Benazir Bhutto has been charged with suspicious transactions worth 4.4 billion Pakistani rupees (US$29 million). It is alleged that he carried out the transactions through bank accounts in other people’s names. The fake accounts case has been under investigations since 2015. However, Zardari says he has been ‘wrongfully implicated’.
The PPP spokesman Murtaza Wahab said the party would hold an emergency consultative meeting to discuss Zardari’s legal options. Moreover the party’s official Twitter account stated that Zardari had handed himself into the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) custody as a ‘mark of protest’ against the unjust and unfair treatment being meted out to him.
This is not the first time that controversial leader has been arrested. He spent time in jail in the 1990s and 2000s.
In light of the protests, the Pakistani government has issued security alert in Sindh and Rangers. Police personnel have been deployed in the concerned areas to maintain the law and order situation. The party supporters alleged the government of vindictive tactics.
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s regime has taken an anti-corruption stride. Last year, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was sentenced in a corruption case. But Khan has been accused of political vendetta to weaken Pakistan’s polity.