ISLAMABAD – Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar on Thursday denied issuing any order to place the names of former president Asif Ali Zardari and his daughter Faryal Talpur on the no-fly list in the fake accounts case.
The clarification from the top court comes following the media reports claiming that the brother-sister duo had been barred from travelling abroad for their involvement in the money-laundering scam involving Rs35 billion.
Interim Interior Minister Azam Khan confirmed on Wednesday ─ contrary to the chief justice’s statement today ─ that the SC had directed the ministry to place their names on the Exit Control List on Monday and the ministry had complied with the orders.
The apex court had summoned Asif Ali Zardari and Faryal Talpur in the case today; however, they skipped the hearing. The lawyers appeared before the court on behalf of the PPP leaders.
During today’s hearing, the top judge also barred the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) from grilling both PPP leaders until the July 25 polls are held. He remarked, “Tomorrow no one should be able to make excuses that the elections have been rigged,” Dawn News reported.
He added that all accused in the case except Zardari and Talpur should be investigated, the CJP ordered.
Justice Nisar also asked whether the PPP leaders are suspects in the case, adding that it needed to be clarified which accused’s names have been put the ECL.
He said that their names have not been placed on ECL so far, adding that this impression should be eliminated.
The CJP said that whosoever’s names had been placed on the ECL would remain there until August 6. If someone turns out to be innocent, their names will then be removed, he added.
Zardari’s lawyer, Farooq H. Naek, informed the court that his client had nothing to do with the Zardari Group, adding that the PPP co-chairman was not event the director of the group.
The chief justice asserted that a fair and transparent probe should be conducted in the case, adding that a new joint investigation team could be formed to investigate the matter.
Naek informed that a JIT is already probing the matter. He pleaded the court that Najaf Mirza be withdrawn from the FIA probe into the case. The court, however, rejected the request saying that it could not replace Mirza.