It seems that the all powerful establishment in Pakistan and their agents in Pakistani media have decided to, at least temporarily, ignore the cases of alleged corruption against Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani (and other politicians). They have offered this temporary NRO to Gilani because their first target is to hit and malign President Zardari. Gilani and other politicians will be dealt with in the next round. Here is what was reported in Dawn today, which is followed by an analysis by Abbas Ather:
PM’s wife paid Rs45.5m against Rs570m liabilities
By Syed Irfan Raza
Sunday, 22 Nov, 2009
ISLAMABAD: Although the wife of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani had settled her default case with the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), she had been given ‘undue favour’ and asked to pay only Rs45.5 million against total liabilities of Rs570 million, sources in the NAB alleged on Saturday in an interview with Dawn.
A scrutiny of Fauzia Gilani’s case revealed that she had obtained two loans totalling Rs200 million from Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL), but she settled the case after committing ‘wilful default that prevailed over a decade’.
According to documents, the sources said, the principal of Rs200 million had swelled to Rs570 million as non-payment of instalments spanned a decade. However, she managed to settle the case by paying back Rs45.521 million.
The sources said she had obtained a loan of Rs120 million for Multan Edible Oil Extraction and another loan Rs77 million for Pak Green Fertilisers.
According to the NAB press release, the cases were settled by the ZTBL in pursuance of the Sindh High Court’s order of Oct 2, 2006, and March 17 of last year and a circular of the State Bank.
In consequence, ZTBL forwarded a request to NAB for withdrawal of the cases.
‘After having received clearance of liability certificate from ZTBL regarding full payment of the settlement amount of Rs45.521 million, NAB withdrew references against the companies.’
The source said Mrs Gilani had gone through the prescribed procedure of settlement of ‘wilful default cases’. They interpreted the move as a ‘confessed wilful default’.
The NAB Ordinance defines wilful default as: ‘Wilful default under this ordinance if he does not pay, or continues not to pay, or return or repay the amount due from him to any bank, financial institution, cooperative society, Prime Minister Gilani faced two other cases in NAB—illegal appointments in National Assembly when he was National Assembly speaker and purchase of vehicles. Both cases were settled in the Islamabad High Court.
A case of the prime minister’s personal secretary, Tariq Khakwani, in which he was accused of obtaining a plot in Sector I-8, Islamabad, under the prime minister’s quota in 1988-89 is still alive in Lahore High Court.
The NAB had filed an appeal against its own reference and had requested an accountability court to dispose of the case.
However, the court turned down the request and the NAB moved LHC against the accountability court’s decision.
The LHC upheld the verdict of the accountability court and the case is still pending. Source..