Law enforcers of Pakistan have arrested Asif Ali Zardari, a former president of the country and co-chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), from his residence in Islamabad on Monday.
A 15-member team of Pakistan's National Accountability Bureau (NAB), accompanied by police personnel, arrested Zardari after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) rejected an application seeking extension in the pre-arrest bails of him and his sister Faryal Talpur in the fake accounts case.
A number of party workers and Zardari's children Bilawal and Aseefa saw him off as the former president was driven away in a black Landcruiser. He is being taken to the NAB Rawalpindi office.
Police personnel, including female officials, had entered the former president's house after the court decision. All roads leading to the residence were blocked by police.
A two-member bench that had earlier reserved its verdict on their application announced the verbal order. Both Zardari and Talpur had left the court building before the verdict was announced.
The warrants for Zardari were apparently issued yesterday. No warrants have been issued for Talpur as yet, however.
The accountability watchdog had constituted two teams for the arrest of the former president, DawnNewsTV reported citing officials. One team was dispatched to Parliament House and another to Zardari House in Islamabad, officials said.
According to Geo News, NAB had informed the National Assembly through a letter that it was going to execute the warrants against Zardari issued by the NAB chairman.
Zardari and Talpur have the option of appealing the IHC judgment in the Supreme Court.
The case pertains to suspicious transactions worth Rs4.4 billion allegedly carried out through a fictitious bank account. According to the prosecution, the account titled M/s A One International was fake and it received a sum of Rs4.4b out of which Rs30m was paid to the Zardari Group at two different times.
Meanwhile, the PPP has called a consultative meeting to discuss the future legal options of Zardari and Talpur. According to sources, Zardari has called his legal team to the meeting to deliberate on whether to challenge the IHC judgement in the SC.
The spokesperson for PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, appealed to PPP supporters across the country to remain peaceful.
"We are waiting for IHC's written order," he said, adding that future strategy will be decided once the party receives the order.
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