ISLAMABAD: While casting doubts over affidavits submitted by former president Asif Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur, the Supreme Court Wednesday rejected them and ordered them to submitreply in writing within four days. The apex court had ordered for the 10-year record details of the assets and foreign and local bank accounts owned by former president Asif Ali Zardari after rejecting affidavit of PPP cochairman. Further, the court expressed a lack of confidence in the affidavitsubmitted by former president Zardari and sought his asset details from 2007 onwards. Zardari’s counsel Farooq Naik told the court, “My client served a nine-year sentence and nothing was proven against him.” Justice Nisar then questioned the former president’s counsel, “Did Zardari have an account in Switzerland? Or was the account in former prime ministerBenazirBhutto ortheir children’s names?”
The chief justice further asked that Zardari in his affidavit state whether he formed a trust or not. 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 presidentssubmit detailed affidavits within 15 days. During the hearing a day earlier, Zardari submitted an affidavit before the Supreme Court stating that he does not own any property abroad. Earlier onAugust 28, former president and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) co-chairmanAsifAli Zardari submitted an assurance that he had no property or bank accounts outside of Pakistan. Farooq H Naek submitted the one-page affidavit on behalf of the former president to the Supreme Court in a case pertaining to the National Reconciliation Ordinance. The top court ruled that Pakistan People’s Party Co-ChairpersonAsif Zardarishall also submit the details whether he owns or remains member of any trust. It also expressed its intention to determine if Zardari is honest and sagaciousto sit in the Parliament. The directions were issued after a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Ijazul Ahsan heard the petition seeking recovery of money from the beneficiaries of National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) 2007. When Naek objected to the bench’s intention of seeking details of his client’s assets, the chief justice remarked thatAsif Zardari was not a common person rather he was a public office holder, adding this court desired to examine his honesty under Article 62(1)(f) of the constitution. The chief justice further observed that PPP leader would get a clean chit if he would be cleared from the allegations against him and this would benefit him politically. He further observed that Zardari’simprisonment could not be translated into an exemption from disclosing his assets. The CJP asked Naek whether Zardari had any account in Switzerland or if he had any account in the name of hisslain wife Benazir Bhutto Shaheed or his children.