Plight of Zardari


THE ball would once again be in the court of the judiciary following consent given by former President Asif Ali Zardari to move the court for his bail on medical grounds. AAZ, who is under detention on allegations of money laundering and presently undergoing treatment at a hospital in Islamabad, was previously adamant not to file any such request but has now been persuaded by his daughter Aseefa to do so in view of his fast deteriorating health.
With the intervention of the judiciary, a tricky situation might be averted as the authorities concerned were lending a deaf ear to the repeated suggestions of Mr. Zardari, his family and his well-wishers that he be allowed, at least, to get medical treatment of his choice, to which he is entitled under the law. Zardari remained behind bars for a good number of years in the past and was not complaining about his plight but now there are legitimate sensitivities attached to the issue. Reports trickling out from Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), where he is presently receiving treatment, speak of Zardari suffering from multiple diseases. As pointed out by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, doctors of PIMS might be qualified but Zardari himself and his family wants him to be shifted to Karachi to get treatment from his doctors of choice. This is nothing extraordinary or unusual and should have been accepted much earlier to send a positive message but regrettably the authorities showed no flexibility in their attitude and as a result of which there is a perception of discrimination with him. In the first place, it is not comprehendible as to why the case of money-laundering is being tried in the accountability court of Islamabad when an FIR was lodged in Karachi and initially the case was heard by the banking court there. His appeal against the dismissal of his petition by Sindh High Court against transfer of his case from Karachi to Islamabad is pending before the Supreme Court for seven months. Has the system no trust in courts and medical facilities of Karachi? Anyhow, Zardari is former President and leader of a major political party and deserve to be treated with respect especially when it comes to his health.