Zardari feeling sick,
limits activities, resting
at Lahore residence

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LAHORE: The PPP-P President Asif Ali Zardari who arrived in Lahore on Friday evening, is feeling sick for the last two days, party sources said, adding that he had confined himself to Bilawal House in Bahria Town.

The PPP supremo was scheduled to visit Ch Shujaat Hussain at Doctors’ Hospital to inquire after health of the ailing PML-Q leader on Saturday last, but doctors advised him to take rest. He also postponed his expected meeting with Ch Parvez Elahi. Nonetheless, party sources said that Asif Zardari was having silent meetings with senior PPP leaders at the Bilawal House. Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Faisal Saleh Hayat, Zaka Ashraf and Dr Asim are among the prominent party leaders who met him at the Bilawal House in the last two days.

Former President Asif Ali Zardari

Earlier on Saturday, Asif Ali Zardari on Saturday filed a fresh plea in the accountability court of Islamabad seeking his acquittal in the Toshakhana (gift depository) reference under the new NAB law.

This is the second time the PPP co-chairman has filed an acquittal plea in the case. He moved the fresh application through his lawyer Sheeraz Rajpar on the basis of the recent amendments made to the country’s accountability law.

He challenged the jurisdiction of the NAB court to hear the reference.

Zardari states in his plea that he is being subjected to political victimisation. The national graft buster instituted bogus and baseless cases against him, he added.

The application argues that the reference doesn’t fall within the domain of the accountability court after the promulgation of the National Accountability (NAO) Ordinance, 2021.

He pleads with the court to quash the Toshakhan reference filed by the NAB.

In September 2020, the court had indicted the former president along with former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gillani in the case. Zardari is accused of illegally keeping expensive vehicles gifted by various heads of states and other foreign dignitaries instead of depositing them in the Toshakhana.

Earlier, on Wednesday, former president Asif Ali Zardari has denounced the PTI-led government’s move to pass the electoral bills in the joint sitting of Parliament, adding that it was more likely that someone else would get benefit from these legislations rather than the ruling party.

Former President Asif Ali Zardari resting at Bilawal House in Lahore

He was talking to journalists briefly at Parliament House, after attending the joint sitting during which the government managed to get 33 bills passed.

He was asked about the PTI government’s efforts for the passage of bills related to electronic voting machines and voting rights for overseas Pakistanis.

When he was asked whether the government took the opposition in confidence or not and how the ruling party being succeeded in its plans, Zardari replied the government was succeeding due to other reasons. “And you know the other reasons better,” he said.

“The government is using all its energy to sow the seeds of this legislation, but someone else will benefit from its fruits,” the former president added.