Pakistan court orders release of ailing ex-President Zardari - GulfToday

Pakistan court orders release of ailing ex-President Zardari


Former Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari (centre) arrives for his bail appeal at Islamabad High Court. File photo/AFP

A Pakistani court ordered on Wednesday that ailing former President Asif Ali Zardari be released on bail on medical grounds, so that he can seek medical treatment at a hospital of his choice in the country.

The development came about five months after Zardari, the widower of the country's assassinated former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, was arrested by Pakistan's anti-graft body in a multi-million dollar money laundering case.

Shortly after the court order, Zardari's son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, who heads the key opposition Pakistan People's Party, claimed that the days of the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan were numbered. He told reporters that once he recovers, his father will launch a campaign to oust Khan's government.

Former President Zardari, a lawmaker in the lower house of Parliament, has been accused of having dozens of bogus bank accounts, a charge he denies, saying he was being politically victimized by Khan's government. Since coming to power, Khan has pledged that his government would make good on his election campaign promise to fight corruption on all fronts.

Zardari, who was arrested in June, was expected to to be freed later on Wednesday.

Pakistan's anti-graft body has arrested several politicians and businessmen on corruption charges since Khan took office last year after winning a narrow majority in parliamentary elections.

Associated Press

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