NAB opens probe into New York apartment ‘owned’ by Zardari

Daily Times

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has opened an investigation into a New York apartment allegedly owned by former president and PPP supremo Asif Ali Zardari.
The NAB has informed the former president via a notice that he had not disclosed in Pakistan that he owned an apartment in New York. It also pointed out in the notice that the anti-graft body could not obtain records confirming that any legal sum was sent from Pakistan to buy the flat in New York.
Former president Zardari on Monday approached the Islamabad High Court (IHC) for interim bail in the NAB inquiry pertaining to apartment in New York. The petition was filed through Zardari’s counsel Farook H. Naek Advocate in which Director General NAB Rawalpindi and other have been named as respondents.
The petition said that the NAB has served a call up notice to former president on June 15, regarding an inquiry pertaining to apartment at Belaire, 524 East 72nd Street, 37-F Manhattan NYC. The NAB has sent a questionnaire and sought detailed answers till June 24. The petition said that there was a risk of arrest of former president Asif Ali Zardari like past and prayed the court to turn down the call up notice besides granting an interim bail to the petitioner till the final decision of the case.
The former president wrote in the petition that he received NAB’s notice on June 15, and sought time to respond to the notice. Zardari said he has requested for more time so that he could gather information about the property. “There is a history of NAB targeting me,” stated the former president in the petition. “I am suffering from several ailments and getting treatment from doctors,” he added.
Federal minister Ali Haider Zaidi had, in 2018, tweeted the property tax bills of a New York apartment allegedly owned by the PPP co-chairperson. The PTI had filed a reference with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) against Zardari for allegedly hiding the property in his nomination papers. The petition had been submitted by PTI’s Khurram Sher Zaman and Firdous Shamim Naqvi had moved the ECP Sindh to take notice of the matter and disqualify Zardari as a member of the National Assembly. The provincial election commissioner had maintained that only the ECP Islamabad could take action over it.
The property documents tweeted by Zaidi mentioned address of the apartment as: 524 East 72 street, Apt 37F, NY, NY Manhattan 10021.
On July 3, Information and Broadcasting Minister Fawad Chaudhry had said that NAB had recovered Rs 33 billion in the fake accounts case involving the former president. “With such a recovery, the volume of corruption in the country could be gauged easily as how the past rulers had looted the country and Sindh [in particular],” Fawad wrote on Twitter. “The actual volume of corruption in the fake accounts case was whopping Rs5,000 billion,” he had added.

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