Bilawal demands immediate release of detained PPP’s workers

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NAB summons Bilawal on May 17 in Park Lane case

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari Wednesday demanded of the federal government to immediately release the PPP workers, who were arrested by police during his appearance before the NAB.
He was addressing a news conference after appearing before the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Wednesday.
The PPP chairman condemned what he called the highhanded, dictatorial and brutal actions of the government against party workers. “I would like to salute the workers of PPP for their bravery, resilience and demand their immediate release and no charges be filed against anyone undemocratically, unnecessarily arrested.”
He claimed that he had not given any call for protest nor had he requested anyone to be present at NAB. “I received the NAB notice on Monday and did not have time to plan anything.”
About cases against him, he said that he was not worried or concerned, but happy to present himself for a free and fair investigation in accordance with the rule of law. However, he added, “unfortunately, what we have seen in the last six months is a manipulation, undermining and disregard for how rule of law should function.”
Bilawal said he was less than a year old when he was made a shareholder in the company mentioned in the case. “Since that day I have not had any involvement with this company.”
The PPP chairman further said that the then Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Saqib Nisar had said he was innocent in this case and asked under who directions his name was in the JIT.
Bilawal stressed that this case had broken local and international legal precedents when it came to jurisdiction. “This case is from Karachi. Bank accounts are from Karachi, alleged accused from Karachi but I don’t know why Pindi becomes a platform for us.”
Bilawal said he did not think this was a NAB case as it concerned private transactions and not public money. “The banking court was the appropriate forum. It is unfortunate NAB is used like this. NAB was made during Musharraf era for political engineering.”
He said that the NAB officers conducted themselves in a very professional manner and were doing what they were told. “They only questioned me for five minutes and then gave a questionnaire.”
Speaking on the issue of terrorism, Bilawal said he had been demanding the formation of a national security committee, steps against banned organisations and the sacking of three ministers associated with banned organisations. He added that no one would take the government seriously until they did this, nor would anyone believe the National Action Plan was being implemented.
He stressed that a message was being sent that the government doesn’t tolerate constructive criticism. “I am warning that if they continue to suppress dissent they will be responsible for the consequences.”

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