Political crisis deepens in Pakistan

Political crisis deepens in Pakistan

Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar. AFP

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Pakistan’s main anti-corruption agency, also banned 250 other officials from going abroad following the order striking down the graft amnesty which benefited over 8,000 politicians and officials.

Judge Mir Muhammad Shaikh of the accountability or anti-corruption court in Karachi issued the arrest warrants against Malik in connection with two graft cases that were closed under the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO). The cases relate to alleged misuse of authority and receipt of two cars for ordering a contract to a firm.
The apex court declared the NRO void on Wednesday and directed authorities to reopen corruption and criminal cases against over 8,000 people that were quashed under the law.

The NAB has filed a petition in an anti-corruption court in Rawalpindi for reviving cases against 19 people, including the interior minister, that were withdrawn under NRO.

The court’s order came hours after Mukhtar, who was leaving for China on an official visit, was barred from boarding a PIA flight late on Thursday night. Chaudhry said his name was on an “exit list” restricting travel and that federal investigation authorities said he cannot leave. Another anti-corruption court in Lahore on Friday issued notices to three NRO beneficiaries, including ruling Pakistan People’s Party secretary general Jahangir Badr, who is a close aide of party chief and President Asif Ali Zardari.

The notices were served after the NAB filed a petition in the court in Lahore against 32 beneficiaries of the NRO, including Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar and Zardari’s mother-in-law Nusrat Bhutto.The court is expected to serve notices to the 29 others named in the petition soon.

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