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Durrani arrest: Zardari calls for amendment in NAB laws

Feb 20 2019
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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Peoples Party president Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday condemned the arrest of Sindh Assembly speaker Agha Siraj Durrani and called for amendment in the National Accountability Bureau’s laws.

Addressing media in Islamabad, the former president lamented the arrest of the speaker, who was taken into custody by the anti-corruption watchdog earlier today for allegedly possessing assets beyond means and embezzling funds.

“Democracy has been challenged by the arrest of the Sindh Assembly speaker. This is nothing new,” Zardari said, adding that “there should be amendments in NAB’s laws” and that his party is ready to face down the accountability bureau.

On the recent Supreme Court decision dismissing review petitions in the fake accounts case, Zardari said, “PPP has always accepted them [court decisions] and wants to strengthen institutions. In our tenure we had raised salaries [of judges] to attract the best people. There are several good judges. We will face the NAB inquiry and if we have to go to jail, you know that has always been my second home.”

‘Will stand by armed forces in case of any misadventure by India’

Zardari also spoke on the ongoing tension with India in the aftermath of the attack in Pulwama, recalling that when he was president, a similar situation had arisen.

The former president was referring to attack on the Taj Hotel in Mumbai.

“We forced India to back down and handled it through diplomatic channels,” he said.

Zardari was critical of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government’s handling of the situation with India. “Our government does not understand. Back street drivers do not understand politics, which is why this issue keeps on escalating.”

He warned India against any misadventure saying, “I want to assure you that if India does any misadventure, the entire nation is united. PPP will stand with the armed forces.”

Commenting further on the PTI government, Zardari said the recent trip of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was mishandled. “They did not invite us, Nawaz Sharif or Shehbaz Sharif.” He added that a minister had tweeted that opposition leaders were unfit to meet the crown prince.

“We are trying to give them time to solve people’s problems, but the prices of electricity and gas are rising. In the summer you will need to sell your car to pay the electricity bill.”