Asif Zardari granted interim bail till July 28 by IHC
Former president Asif Zardari coming to attend the court hearing.
The Islamabad High Court has granted interim bail to former president Asif Ali Zardari till July 28 while giving decision on his bail application, reported 24NewsHD TV channel on Wednesday.
Yesterday, the IHC summoned PPP Co-Chairman and former president Zardari personally on Wednesday (today) in the case of his pre-arrest bail application rejecting his counsel Farooq H Naik’s plea to grant him exemption from court appearance citing his poor health condition. The court said if the former president was granted exemption from court appearance, then it might set a precedent for others adding that it was a set rule that the petitioner seeking pre-arrest bail must be present during the hearing of his case.
The IHC division bench consisting of Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Amir Farooq heard the pre-arrest bail plea filed by the former president and granted him the interim bail till July 28. The IHC also directed the petitioner to submit surety bonds of Rs0.5 million to the court.
Though Mr Zardri is ill and is under treatment in hospital, he decided to appear before the court against the advice of his doctors.
When Mr Zardari reached the court, he sought court’s permission to let his Land Cruiser pull over near the court room as he felt difficulty in walking. But the court did not give him the permission to bring his SUV inside the court premises.
He reached Islamabad from Karachi yesterday night where he was hospitalised. Sources said he was taken out of airport on a wheelchair.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had issued a call-up notice to the former president on June 15 directing him to appear before the accountability watchdog on June 24. The NAB was investigating into Mr Zardari’s ownership of a flat in New York.
But the former president filed an application in the IHC terming the NAB’s call-up notice baseless and an attempt to soil his name. The petition denied NAB’s claim that the property belonged to Mr Zardari and that the notice was issued just to harass him at the behest of PTI government. The petition pleaded to the court to grant him an interim bail till the case was decided.
Zardari says Nawaz’s domicile better than him
When Mr Zardari came out of the court, the media persons started asking questions from him. Responding to a question whether he was heading to reconciliation or resistance, the former president replied that PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was the commander of anti-government movement.
To another question that if he still believed that he would come only for three years in government during one of his speeches, Mr Zardari laughed it out telling the journalist ‘you yourself have been whisked away. You also want others to be whisked away.’
On Nawaz Sharif’s return to the country, the PPP co-chairman said it’s good if he came back and if he didn’t, it’s up to him. He satirically remarked that Mian Sahib’s domicile was better than his.
He stated that Bilawal was not going to America on some visit, he was going there to attend a conference.
On a question about the fate of PTI government, Mr Zardari bounced back the question to the journalist: ‘Do you see any PTI government’?
On AJK elections, he said that the same thing would happen in the Kashmir election that had been happening always. He was of the view that PPP was a solid party and we had been fighting in Kashmir for 50 to 60 years.
A journalist asked him ‘do you have any message for ‘selectors’? On this, the former president said why should he convey his message through him as he could deliver his message to the ‘selectors’ by himself.
Reporters Ihtisham Kiani and Usman Khan