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Asif Ali Zardari gets interim bail in corruption case

By Anuj Cariappa

Islamabad, May 23: A Pakistani court has granted interim bail to former president Asif Ali Zardari in a case related to alleged award of illegal contracts, a media report said.

The Islamabad high court (IHC) divisional bench comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhter Kiyani granted bail till June 13 to Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Co-Chairman against Rs 200,000 surety bonds on Tuesday.

Former Pakistans President Asif Ali Zardari

Zardari's counsel Farook H Naek told the court the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had summoned Zardari on May 23 in an inquiry related to award of allegedly illegal contracts to a private firm in Sindh, The Express Tribune reported.

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According to the NAB, the Harish and Company was awarded a contract for water supply by the Sindh government but failed to complete the projects and the public funds were allegedly misused to meet the expense of Naudero House, residence of the PPP leader.

The NAB officials claim that Harish and Company was the front company to Park Lane Estate which led to a loss of Rs 60 million to the national exchequer.

Naek said it was possible that Zardari would be arrested upon his arrival in the NAB's office and requested the court to grant a pre-arrest bail to him.

The bench accepted Zardari's pre-arrest bail plea and served notices to the NAB.

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The IHC has already granted pre-arrest bail to Zardari in seven other cases related to alleged money laundering through fake accounts.

Born in 1955, Zardari served as the 11th President of Pakistan from 2008 to 2013, the first president born after Partition.

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