PPP reacts strongly to anti-graft raids
Islamabad - Some party leaders and their accomplices were arrested on corruption and money laundering charges.
Director-General Rangers, Karachi, Maj-Gen. Bilal Akbar on Friday called on Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah amid resentment boiling within the ruling Pakistan People's Party (PPP) in the wake of recent string of arrests of some party leaders and their accomplices on corruption and money laundering charges.
According to reports, Shah conveyed concerns over the arrests and was particularly perturbed that these were being linked with accusation of funding terrorists. The arrest of former petroleum minister Dr Asim Hussain, a close confidante of former president Asif Ali Zardari has particularly triggered wide rumours that federal ant-corruption and law enforcing civil and military agencies are pitching for enticing Zardari, ultimately for his arrest.
In a strong reaction PPP's Syed Khurshid Shah who is Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, warned that Zardari's arrest would amount to "unleashing a war". He said the perception that only Sindh is being targeted in current operation would have devastating impact on people of Sindh jeopardising the unity of the federation.
PPP's information secretary Qamar Zaman Kaira and party leader Sherry Rehman addressing a news conference here said the PPP has no objection to any anti-corruption operation. But linking the party leaders with terror financing was a travesty of truth. The PPP has been in forefront of all anti-terrorism measures and even suffered several deaths of its top leaders and activists at the hands of terrorists.
Sindh information minister Sharjeel Memon said the arrests of PPP leaders in Karachi appear to be result of mindset of "certain forces" who do not like the party to be in government in the province.
Apart from the Rangers, Federal Investigation Agency and National Accountability Bureau have been active in roping in corrupt among politicians and bureaucrats. Under military's watch, the Sindh police and anti-corruption cell have also joined these operations. The PPP's staple defence against corruption cases is that why only Sindh has been chosen as primary target. The Rangers exist in Punjab as well which has been spared so far.