ISLAMABAD: Acting Attorney General Shah Khaver presented National Accountability Bureau (NAB) report regarding Swiss banks accounts to the Supreme Court (SC), Geo News reported Tuesday. According to the NAB reports, there are at least six foreign bank accounts maintained by President Asif Ali Zardari and Benazir Bhutto. There are at least 13,113,000 dollars in these foreign bank accounts.
There are at least 46,343,353 dollars in the accounts of 5 companies owned by President Zardari and Benazir Bhutto. The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) also presented to the apex court all the record from Geneva court in connection with the Swiss cases. Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s counsel Ashtar Ausaf supported the arguments put forward by Abdul Hafeez in the court.
Acting AG said this is not an opportune time for allowing any upheaval to take place. On this, Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday said stemming the crimes do not pave the way for any upheaval.
On being asked, the Acting AG said the bank accounts have been unfrozen and now the accountholders are managing them. The court asked him as to who ordered to this effect.
When Attorney General demurred at President Zaridari’s sentence, the CJ asked him to deny the report if has objection on it, adding he said in his remarks that Attorney General has not hitherto denied the report regarding President Zardari’s sentence.
‘We have no problems with anyone or any president; we are here to guard the national interests,’ he continued adding it remains to be seen whether national interests were protected in Swiss court or not. The national money should be safeguarded, he added.
The CJ said Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani is worthy of appreciation on his statement regarding his statement on compliance with the court verdict on the NRO. He voiced his resolve to defend the democracy in the country at all cost.
The NRO stayed un-endorsed by the parliament, it means there is ‘something’ in the Ordinance, he remarked.
The court ordered former Attorney General Malik Qayyum to appear before the court to uncover the name of the authorities on whose orders the cases were taken back.
Later on, on appearing before the court, Malik Qayyum said President Asif Ali Zardari submitted an appeal to repeal all NRO cases in February 2008 and the court abolished all the cases the next month. The consultations regarding the repeal of the Swiss cases were held with former President
Gen (rtd) Pervez Musharraf and the Law Minister, adding on the directives from Musharraf, he wrote a letter to the Swiss court to this effect.
The court queried Federation’s counsel Kamal Azfar regarding his contentious argument on dangers posed to democracy by US CIA and GHQ. Kamal responded by saying this is his own opinion without any authority enjoining in this regard.
Kamal Azfar said the GHQ had been destabilizing the democracy in past; however, he knows the present Army Chief; he is a gentleman. It should be noted here that Kamal Azfar told a full court yesterday the democratic system was under threat from the CIA and the GHQ.
A 17-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, is hearing identical constitutional petitions, challenging the infamous National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO).
It should be mentioned here that the Federation yesterday expressed apprehensions before the Supreme Court that the democratic system was under threat from the CIA and the GHQ, while the court’s decision might put democracy under threat as well.
Justice Javed Iqbal remarked that NAB spent Rs200 million on the cases and then took them back.The 17-member bench hearing the petitions comprises of Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, Justice Javed Iqbal, Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan, Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday, Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan, Justice Tassadduq Hussain Jillani, Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk, Justice Raja Fayyaz Ahmed, Justice Chaudhry Ijaz Ahmed, Justice Muhammad Sair Ali, Justice Mahmood Akhtar Shahid Siddiqui, Justice S Khawja, Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, Justice Rahmat Husain Jafferi, Justice Tariq Parvez and Justice Ghulam Rabbani.