Published On: Thu, May 9th, 2019
Published in Category: Islamabad

Zardari terms Reza Baqir’s appointment a ‘major mistake’

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-Chairman and former president Asif Ali Zardari regretted Dr Reza Baqir’s appointment as the governor of the State Bank of Pakistan and termed it the ‘biggest’ mistake in the country’s economic history.

The former president made the statement while speaking to media outside the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday. Accompanied by daughter Aseefa Bhutto Zardari, he was there for a hearing on a petition seeking pre-arrest bail in a National Accountability Bureau (NAB) reference against the holders of public office, legal persons and others regarding the illegal award of a contract by Government of Sindh special initiative department to M/S Harish & Company.

Zardari was asked to comment on a statement by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi over accepting requests of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The former president said that the decision to appoint Baqir as SBP governor was unwise. “This will prove to be a major mistake; you can’t have an IMF man managing your house, even if he is a Pakistani.”

The former president shrugged off Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, who was a member of his finance team during PPP tenure in 2008-2013, joining Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) governing team as finance advisor to the premier.

“Prime Minister Imran Khan keeps reiterating that the government will not grant a National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO). What would you say to that?” asked a reporter. “I don’t know. Maybe he will not grant himself an NRO,” responded the PPP co-chairman.

Meanwhile the two-member bench of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) headed by Justice Amir Farooq and Comprising Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani on Wednesday granted interim bail to Asif Ali Zardari till May 15. The court while issuing the notice to NAB on the petition of Asif Zardari has summoned reply. The court said it will hear the case along with other cases of pre-arrest bail in four cases on 15th May.

The petition was filed by the PPP leader in order to avoid possible arrest by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in Harish and Company case.

Let it be known that the anti-corruption watchdog has summoned Asif Ali Zardari today ((Thursday) in an ongoing investigation into money laundering through fake bank accounts case.

The NAB will conduct inquiry in connection with an investigation into the holders of public office, legal persons and others regarding the Sindh government’s illegal award of contract to M/S Harish and company and others.