Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has refused to appear before the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the fake bank accounts and money laundering case.
Bilawal has a 25 percent shares in a private firm, Opal-225, which is a joint venture of the Zardari Group, charged with transferring billions of rupees via fake bank accounts. The company also took loans of billions of rupees from banks. Consequently, the Pakistan Supreme Court directed NAB to file 16 references against the accused in the Accountability Court of Rawalpindi/Islamabad, not in Karachi.
The case involves 172 people, including Bilawal, his father and party co-chair Asif Ali Zardari, his aunt Faryal Talpur, former chief minister of Sindh Qaim Ali Shah, Bahria Town founder Malik Riaz and others.
The scene at Islamabad’s opulent Zardari House has party grandees seated on the floor at their obsequious best, heads bowed, facing the Zardari family seated on sofas. Prominent among them, Sen. Sherry Rehman, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, the party’s Punjab president Qamar Zaman Kaira, Bilawal’s spokesman Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, party secretary general Farhatullah Babar, and information secretary Dr. Nafisa Shah.
Babar quickly initiates the conversation, “O, our most respected masters, the children of the queen of martyrs, Her Serene Highness Benazir Bhutto and grandchildren of our most beloved crown of martyrs, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, it is indeed an insult to the entire humankind that our beloved leader, the person entitled to be our master, Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, the great statesman has been summoned by NAB.
“This is an ugly stain on the memory of our sublime masters. Indeed, it is wisdom… indeed the bravery of our brightest star of leadership, Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, that we are holding this meeting in Liaqat Bagh (in Rawalpindi) on Dec. 27 where our sublime martyr, Benazir Bhutto sacrificed her life so that the honorable house of Bhutto may reign over Pakistan forever.
“We cannot and we shall not allow anyone to question our beloved family which has been exclusively gifted to us to rule over the country. Our lives be sacrificed for their glory.”
Sherry Rehman speedily offers, “It was the foresightedness of our sublime martyr, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto that he sagaciously stood with Gen. Iskander Mirza and when the moment called, he stood with Field Marshal Ayub Khan in order to reach the pinnacle and become the voice for voiceless.
“Today, just as we hold our faith in Ahle-Bayt – the family of the Prophet (PBUH), the noble family Bhutto is a mirror of that wise leadership. Let us all repeat in unison what our most honorable Fahatullah Babar has said that we cannot and we shall not allow anyone to question our beloved family which has been exclusively gifted to us to rule over the country. Our lives be sacrificed for their glory.”
Not to be seen lagging, Kaira jumps to feet, waves his hands and declares, “Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari is the only leader who can provide that leadership to the country.
“We have the golden words of the now retired Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar who had created the JIT [joint investigation team]. He had questioned ‘on whose dictation was Bilawal implicated in this scam? You added his names for just political scoring. Delete the names of Bilawal.’
“The chief justice has sagaciously observed that our beloved master, Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari is sinless. His name was removed from the travel ban list on the directives of the Supreme Court.
“It is our time… it is the time of our master. No one has the courage to challenge Imran Niazi and his anti-corruption drive…”
Babar interjects, “Amen to our superior courts for obstructing Imran Niazi from subverting the due we deserve for public service…”
Kaira continues, “… Shehbaz Sharif [leader of the opposition in the National Assembly] is stuck London and can’t fulfill his responsibilities … our illustrious sister Maryam Nawaz is silent because she is missing her father… she has to keep quite to get permission to fly to London…”
As photos of Zulfikar Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto are projected on the wall, the occupants of the floor stand, heads bowed and render their curtsies. At this moment, Bilawal speaks, “O my trusted and obedient people, I am most impressed by your loyalty to our sublime martyrs … Zulfikar Ali Bhutto is alive … Benazir Bhutto is alive… We will honor their majesties by ensuring that our great and wise leader, Asif Ali Zardari does not have to answer to anyone… we will defeat Imran Niazi’s anti-corruption scheme… Pakistan will only be happy when we prosper… the Zardari family, the rightful scion of our sublime martyrs prosper.
“Let us all raise our drinks to our prosperity.
“O my trusted and obedient people, continue your good work, and never forget our party’s guidance that only the obsequious shall thrive.”