FIA summons Faryal Talpur in money laundering case

Former president Asif Ali Zardari’s sister Faryal Talpur was again summoned by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Saturday in connection to an ongoing money laundering case as the court approved respite ended with the conclusion of the polling process across the country.

The Supreme Court on July 12 ordered the FIA to halt probes against Zardari and Talpur ahead of the July 25 election to prevent any allegations of pre-poll rigging. A two-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar, resumed the hearing of a suo motu case on July 12 after allegations of Rs35 billion being laundered through fake bank accounts.

During the hearing, Justice Nisar told the director-general of the FIA not to summon either Zardari or Talpur so that there may be no accusations of elections outcome being manipulated. “We want to make this clear … elections will be held free and fair and the … the apex court will ensure that justice prevails,” said the chief justice. The FIA was, however, ordered to continue all probes against non-political persons in this case.

Hussain Lawai, former Pakistan Stock Exchange chairman and close aide of Zardari, and Taha Raza, Summit Bank Senior Vice-President were sent to jail on remand in the same case. Lawai, accused of facilitating 29 ‘fake’ accounts in Summit Bank, Sindh Bank and United Bank Limited was presented along with Raza before a magistrate by the FIA. After submitting an initial inquiry report, the FIA team sought further remand to complete the investigation.