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A visibly perturbed Asif Ali Zardari on Monday said if the government wants to know where his party government spent the money it had borrowed from international monetary agencies, it must round up the then Finance Minister Hafeez Sheikh who is now working as adviser to the prime minister on finance.
While talking to media persons after appearing before an accountability court in fake accounts case, he said that the government can easily find out where the then Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) government had spent the borrowed money if it investigates the incumbent adviser to the prime minister as he is now in-charge of Prime Minister Khan''''s economic team.
Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, who served with the then government of PPP from 2008 to 2012 as finance minister, is now undertaking his duties as adviser to the prime minister on finance and revenue after PM Khan replaced him with his trusted aide Asad Umar after the latter failed to cope with the economic crisis despite passage of eight months. Zardari said that they are accused of embezzling millions of rupees but no one questions Hafeez Sheikh despite the fact that he was the finance minister when the PPP was in power.
Earlier, an accountability court granted the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) a further 10-day physical remand of Zardari and PPP leader Faryal Talpur in the fake bank accounts case. The two accused were produced before the Accountability Court-I Judge Muhammad Bashir by the NAB after expiry of term of their physical remand. As the hearing began, the NAB prosecutor apprised the court of development in investigation of mega money laundering and fake accounts scam. He prayed the court to grant further 10-day physical remand of the accused.
At this, Zardari arrived at the court rostrum and requested the judge to extend his physical remand till after Eid-ul-Azha. To which, the judge remarked that the court can grant physical remand for two weeks at once in accordance with the law. Zardari''''s counsel Sardar Latif Khosa also gave arguments regarding the newspaper clippings submitted by the former president on last hearing.
The court, however, accepted the request of the NAB and granted 10-day physical remand of both the accused. The judge ordered the anti-graft body to produce Zardari and Talpur again on August 8, and also submit updates about progress in investigation process.
The top anti-grant body is investigating four cases where the former president and his sister Talpur are the prime accused. The cases pertain to transactions worth hundreds of millions of rupees to the two leaders'''' private companies, allegedly, through fake bank accounts.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015

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