LAHORE: A Pakistani court has issued notices to President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani, PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan and many other politicians in response to a petition seeking the disclosure of their assets abroad.
Lahore High Court Chief Justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry yesterday directed all the respondents to file their replies along with affidavits on the verified list of their worldwide assets.
The other respondents include senior PML-Q leaders Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Chaudhry Pervez Elahi, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Secretary Nasir Khosa, Pakistan People’s Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Ghinwa Bhutto, chairperson of the PPP-ZAB faction.
The federal Cabinet Secretary and Law Secretary were made party to the petition.
“Notices shall be issued to the respondents in the writ petition who shall file their replies supported by their affidavits with an advance copy to learned counsel for petitioner,” the Chief Justice said in his written order.
The next hearing will be held in the first week of December. Lawyer Javed Iqbal Jaffrey filed his main petition in 1993 and prayed that the respondents should be directed to provide verified list of their worldwide assets.
He recently filed an amended petition and alleged that politicians looted and plundered public money and transferred billions of rupees to foreign banks.
He claimed that Nawaz Sharif siphoned off and laundered over USD 3 billion, mostly to Britain. He further alleged that Gilani had spent about Rs 500 million from public funds on his houses in Multan and Lahore.
Jaffrey said due to corrupt practices and misconduct of most of the respondents, Pakistan had become the “laughing stock of the civilized world and practically a failed state”.
The lawyer requested the court to direct the Federal Board of Revenue and all anti-corruption departments to employ lie detector machines on all the respondents as they “always tell lies to the nation even under oath on the Quran”. -PTI