Assets declaration LHC issues notices to top politicians
LAHORE, Dec 8: The Lahore High Court on Thursday issued notices to many politicians, including Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf chief Imran Khan and PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, on a petition seeking direction for them to disclose details of their national and foreign assets.
Justice Muhammad Khalid Mahmood Khan also directed the respondent politicians to file their comments duly supported by affidavits.
Next hearing will be held on Jan 10, 2012.
Former acting prime ministers Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi and Moeen Qureshi and former two-time prime minister, the late Benazir Bhutto, also were made party in the petition filed by Barrister Javed Iqbal Jafree in 1993.
He said in his petition that a LHC bench had ordered freezing of assets owned by Benazir and her husband, Asif Ali Zardari, now president. However, he said, after a military coup in 1999 his petition was transferred to another judge who, without disposing of the case, directed the National Accountability Bureau to hold an investigation. But it was never completed, he added.
Barrister Jafree submitted that proceedings on his petition should be restored and the NAB be directed to complete the investigation. The court has also been holding proceedings on his application for the restoration of the petition.
In this case, Zardari (being PPP co-chairperson) and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani had already been directed to file their replies with affidavits.
The petitioner in his main petition prayed that the respondents be directed to provide verified lists of their assets both at home and abroad. He alleged these politicians plundered public money and transferred billions of rupees to foreign countries.
He pointed out that Nawaz siphoned off over US $3 billion mostly to the UK, where his two sons had acquired precious property.
Barrister Jaffrey further alleged that PM Gilani had spent about Rs500 million out of public funds on his houses in Multan and Lahore (DHA). He said due to corrupt practices and misconduct of most respondents, Pakistan had become a laughing stock in the civilised world and practically a failed state.
The barrister also requested the court to direct the Federal Board of Revenue and all anti-corruption departments to employ “Lie Detection Machines” on all the respondents as “they always tell lies even under oath on Quran.”
He said had his writ petition been timely decided, Pakistan would not have been in its present-day mess and state of humiliation.
He said: “The respondents go abroad and stay in seven-star hotels, with begging bowls in their hands.”
He also sought court directions for the respondents to bring back their assets and spend them for the national welfare.