Ex-official: Bhutto, Zardari targeted

Dec. 20, 2009 at 1:52 PM
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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Dec. 20 (UPI) -- A one-time Pakistani elections official claims the country's anti-corruption agency tried to target Benazir Bhutto and Asif Zardari in 2005.

Kanwar Dilshad, the former Secretary of the Election Commission of Pakistan, told DawnNews Sunday that the National Accountability Bureau, reportedly known for its past political victimizations, tried to force election officials to file fraud cases against the assassinated former Pakistani prime minister and her politician husband, now Pakistan's president.

"In 2005, NAB pressurised us to file cases against Benazir and Zardari for filing wrong assets," Dilshad told DawnNews. "But we refused to do so because we believed our impartiality would be affected."

Dilshad said then-NAB Chairman Shahid Aziz eventually agreed with the Election Commission's arguments, but only after much convincing.

The newspaper said the revelations come as Zardari is again in the limelight following the Pakistani Supreme Court's ruling this year finding the 2007 National Reconciliation Order of former President Pervez Musharref to be unconstitutional. It granted amnesty to politicians and others accused of crimes committed between 1986 and 1999.

DawnNews says some contend the termination of the ordinance rendered Zardari ineligible for the 2008 presidential elections, which he won.

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