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Pakistan's former president Asif Ali Zardari not using AC in jail: Bilawal


Press Trust of India Islamabad
Pakistan's former president Asif Ali Zardari was not using an air conditioner (AC) in prison, his son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said on Monday, days after Prime Minister Imran Khan announced that A-class jail facilities for jailed opposition leaders would be withdrawn.
Zardari, the 63-year-old husband of the country's first woman prime minister Benazir Bhutto, was arrested by the National Accountability Bureau in a corruption case on July 1.
Bilawal, the Chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party, who along with sister Aseefa attended the remand hearing of Zardari, told reporters that he found that his father was not using the AC facility during his last visit to the prison.
"When I and Aseefa went to meet President Zardari in jail he himself had the AC shut. When we asked him about this, he replied this was not something big for him. I and Assefa are asking him to use this facility," Bilawal was quoted as saying by the Geo TV.
Bilawal said the former president was not using the AC facility after Prime Minister Khan during his recent visit to the US announced that A-class jail facilities for jailed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and Zardari would be withdrawn.
Sharif, 69, has been serving a seven-year prison term at the Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore since December 24, 2018 when an accountability court convicted him in one of the three corruption cases filed in the wake of the apex court's July 28, 2017 order in Panama Papers case.
The PPP chief said his party had a legacy of battling dictatorship and this "puppet" government was no contest for them.
"We will not compromise on democracy, 18th amendment, 1973 system and media independence," said Bilawal.
Zardari, the 11th President of Pakistan from 2008 to 2013, has denied any link with the fake accounts. He has said the allegation was part of a vilification campaign by the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party to malign opposition leaders.
His political career has been overshadowed by the allegations of corruption due to which he has spent several years in custody although he was never convicted.

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First Published: Jul 29 2019 | 5:05 PM IST

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