RAWALPINDI: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari appeared before the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Rawalpindi in the JV (Joint Venture) Opal case. The anti-graft body handed over a questionnaire comprising 32 questions to the PPP chairman and summoned reply within two weeks. According to details, Bilawal Bhutto recorded his statement before a four-member team headed by Director General NAB Rawalpindi Irfan Naeem Mangi. He was inquired whether he is the director of the Zardari Group of Companies. Sources privy to the matter have revealed that the PPP chairman could not give a satisfactory answer to the ant-corruption watchdog over questions regarding the JV Opal and was also unable to provide some documents. It has further been learnt that Bilawal Bhutto insisted to submit written replies of various questions. He was handed over a questionnaire afterwards. The PPP chairman talked to media after appearing before the NAB and said he is being politically victimized. Aseefa Bhutto Zardari will lead the party if I am illegally arrested, he said. “A notice is served to me over announcement of a march. I appeared before the NAB today despite reservations and had answered the questions thrice in past. “The former chief justice had declared me innocent one year ago as I was not involved in any business activity. “Transactions between two private companies have nothing to do with the NAB. No public office holder was involved in it and I was only seven years old when I became the company’s shareholder.
“The role of opposition leader is very important in the parliament and hopefully he will play his part after returning soon. The PTI-IMF budget is not acceptable.” Strict security arrangements had been made around the NAB’s Rawalpindi office and all routes leading towards the old headquarters of the anti-corruption watchdog were blocked. Heavy contingents of police had been deployed to stop the possible entry of the PPP workers inside the bureau’s premises. It is pertinent here to mention that the accountability watchdog had ordered Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to bring all record of the Zardari Group from 2008 till 2019, and a list of board of directors of the company. The PPP chairman has been accused of withdrawing Rs1.22 billion from a fake account for his private company. Bilawal Bhutto has claimed that he was young at that time, but contrary to his statement, the audit report contains his signature. The NAB has obtained an audit report and documents containing his signature. For the same case, NAB Chairman retired justice Javed Iqbal had approved converting that inquiry into an investigation, and the bureau summoned Bilawal for the fourth time. However, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has appeared before the investigation team only once. According to NAB, the PPP chairman had 25 percent shares in a private firm, JV Opal. PPP leaders together have been accused of transferring billions of rupees to JV Opal via fake bank accounts. The company also took loans of billions of rupees from banks. NNI