Bilawal appears before NAB in fake accounts case.

Byline: Syed Irfan Raza

ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Thursday appeared before the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the fake bank accounts case for his alleged transaction with JV Opal-225, a joint venture of real estate tycoon Malik Riaz and former president Asif Ali Zardari, and warned the government that his party would not tolerate what he called 'economic massacre' of people.

He claimed that the former chief justice of Pakistan had declared him an 'innocent' man and said that in case he was arrested his sister Aseefa Bhutto-Zardari would become his voice.

On the other hand, SpeAcial Assistant to the Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar said Mr Bhutto-Zardari had never been declared innocent by anyone.

A NAB official told Dawn that summoning of the PPP chairman was a step towards an action against the main shareholder [Malik Riaz of Bahria Town] of the firm.

Says economic massacre won't be allowed; PM's aide says PPP chairman has never been declared innocent

Mr Bhutto-Zardari appeared before the anti-graft watchdog for the third time. He was given a questionnaire containing 35 questions which he has to reply in two weeks.

Later, the PPP chairman, accompanied by senior party leaders, held a press conference outside the NAB office and termed his summoning a 'political victimisation' by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government.

He said people were fed up with the unprecedented price hike and now the PPP would not come under any government pressure but stop economic massacre of the masses being committed by the PTI regime. 'We will not tolerate economic massacre of people even for a single day. Whatever pressure you will exert, no PPP worker is ready to retreat or surrender.'

Mr Bhutto-Zardari wondered why he had been asked to appear before NAB despite the fact that he had never been involved in any malpractice and corruption. He said that over a year ago the then chief justice had declared him not guilty, adding that he had himself presented before NAB investigators three times and also answered their questions.

In January 2019, the Supreme Court had, while hearing the fake accounts case, ordered that the names of Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah be removed from the no-fly list as well as from a joint investigation team's report on a probe into the case. The apex court had also ordered that the case be forwarded to NAB and directed the...

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