Pak's former president Asif Ali Zardari seeks bail on medical grounds in corruption cases

Sajjad Hussain

Islamabad, Dec 3 (PTI) Pakistan's former president Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday approached the Islamabad High Court seeking bail on medical grounds in the two corruption cases, days after jailed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was allowed to travel abroad for better treatment on a bail plea.

Zardari, 64, was arrested in June after his bail application was rejected in connection to the fake bank accounts case. The case pertains to a massive money laundering scam that was previously being probed by the Federal Investigation Agency.

He has submitted two separate requests in the Park Lane and money laundering cases against him. The petition argues that Zardari should be given bail till the completion of the trial against him.

In his petition, Zardari maintained that he is suffering from a heart condition and has had three stents placed in his body. He said that he also suffers from diabetes which means that he has to constantly monitor his blood sugar levels.

The court admitted Zardari's petition. The petition will be heard by the court's special bench on Wednesday.

The bail plea was filed a day after his son Bilawal and two daughters – Bakhtawar and Aseefa – met him and persuaded him to seek bail due to frail health.

Zardari is currently under treatment at the premier Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS).

His son and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari flanked by two sisters told the media on Monday after meeting Zardari at the IMS that they convinced him to seek bail.

'(Former) president Zardari had stopped us from filing the bail petition which was a difficult situation for us, my sisters and the whole family. Now he has accepted Aseefa’s request and the PPP will apply for the bail on medical grounds,' he said on Monday.

His sister Faryal Talpur was also arrested and she is still in custody. She has submitted a request too. She has argued that she is the mother of a child with disabilities and has to take care of her daughter.

The high court also admitted for hearing the bail petition filed by Talpur.

Zardari, who was president of Pakistan from 2008 to 2013, was arrested in June after his bail application was rejected in connection to the fake bank accounts case.

Pakistan's former prime minister Sharif, who is serving a prison sentence for corruption, left the country last month to receive medical treatment in London.

Sharif, 69, has an immune system disorder and other health problems. PTI SH ZH NSA