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PPP demands suo moto in Saifur Rehman audio-tape issue

By Abdul Nisar

Karachi, Nov 21 (ANI): The Pakistan People's Party (PPP) has demanded suo moto action by Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry against people involved in the Saifur Rehman audio-tape issue, Adviser to the Sindh Chief Minister on Information and Archives, Sharmila Farooqi, has said.

"The entire nation has witnessed the tape recording. Lab tests have confirmed that the recorded voices are genuine and authentic," the Daily Times quoted Farooqi, as saying, while addressing a press conference on Saturday.

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was annoyed over the delay in the Lahore High Court's decision in President Asif Ali Zardari's case during his tenure, according to a transcript of conversation between Justice (r) Abdul Qayyum and National Accountability Bureau's (NAB) former chairman Saifur Rehman, aired on a private news channel.

Senator Faisal Raza Abdi had provided the audio-tape, which also had Justice Qayyum's conversations with Pervez Elahi and Shahbaz Sharif. The audiotape reveals that the Sharifs manipulated the verdict in Zardari's case, the paper said.

Farooqi said that many PPP leaders and workers were victimised on political basis in the past by the then governments, adding that former premier Benazir Bhutto had sent letters to government authorities, international human rights forums and courts but in vain.

She was of the view that such tapes endorsed the PPP's stance that the cases were false, politically motivated, engineered to involve PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari on faulty grounds and registered with mala fide intentions and therefore non-existent.

When asked why the ruling PPP was reluctant to register FIRs against the people involved in the audiotape issue, Farooqi said the government was following the policy of reconciliation.

Some parts of transcript of Saifur Rehman's call to Justice (r) Abdul Qayyum:Rehman: I have talked to him (Nawaz Sharif) again. He (Nawaz) complains that you don't keep your words. And not 99 percent, you better confirm it 101 percent to me that you are going to announce the decision. Moreover, about punishment, he said that everything is in front of me that how much embezzlement he (Asif Ali Zardari) has committed.

Justice Qayyum: Ok! As he wishes.

Rehman: He also said that don't you wish to give him 'full dose'.

Justice Qayyum: No, usually maximum punishment is not given.

Rehman: How to recover the property and bank accounts in Switzerland and London. We have freeze (option)?

Qayyum: After the verdict, you can file an application for the property and that's how orders will be given about it. Anyhow, the property and accounts will be mentioned in the decision, tomorrow. This is how it will cover everything. (ANI)

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