ISLAMABAD – The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)’s lead federal government had finally decided to lock horns with Asif Ali Zardari just like in 1990s in the same old arena of Swiss Banks.
PakistanTribe reported yesterday that former president Asif Ali Zardari wanted to claim back the custody of his late wife’s jewelry. Today (Thursday) it has been made clear that what would be the motives of federal government over this claim.
Federal Law Secretary Barrister Zafarullah Khan admitted that a law firm of Switzerland, once hired for representing government of Pakistan in Switzerland, had contacted at least a week ago to inform about the move made by Zardari.
“We will contest the claim of and oppose the handover of the jewelry to him. The Swiss authorities would be requested to hand over the jewelry or any other valuables in their possession to the Pakistan government,” he said while talking to the correspondent.
It was believed that the ornaments were seized in 1997 during the tenure of Nawaz Sharif’s government when investigation of a money laundering case was lodged against the couple.
“Switzerland needs Islamabad’s response because the jewelry was confiscated as case property during the investigation. But all charges, including those relating to corruption, were dropped in 2007 under the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO),” he said.
Asif Ali Zardari’s spokesman Senator Farhatullah Khan Babar said that he was not aware about any letter written to the Swiss authorities.
It is worth mentioning here that during the PPP government had sacrificed its own Prime Minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani, who refused to write the letter to Swiss Authorities for reopening of all cases against Benazir Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari.
PPP’s leader continued their war of words against then chief justice of Pakistan, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, for trying their dead leaders. However, no one in the lines of PPP ever accepted that Benazir or Zardari held secret bank accounts in Swiss Banks which hold as many as 60 million dollar currency.
Later, a letter was written to Swiss Authorities when Raja Pervez Ashraf took charge as Prime Minister. But the language of the letter and unnecessary delay in writing it had made cases in Swiss courts null and void.