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Pakistani ex-PM Gilani prefers jail over probe for corruption

July 19, 2013 15:35 IST

Former premier Yousuf Raza Gilani has said he would prefer going to jail rather than appear before Pakistan's anti-corruption watchdog that is investigating graft charges against him.

The national accountability bureau had summoned Gilani on Thursday to record his statement regarding a Rs 82-billion scam in the oil and gas regulatory authority during the tenure of Tauqir Sadiq, who was appointed by the ex-premier.

Gilani said with every passing moment, every institution under the Pakistan Muslim League-N government was hatching conspiracies against his Pakistan People's Party and President Asif Ali Zardari.

“How can I appear before an institution whose credibility was challenged by the son of the Chief Justice of Pakistan, by not appearing before NAB?” Gilani said in an interview with The Express Tribune in his hometown of Multan. "I don’t expect justice from any institution," he said.

Sadiq was recently extradited from the United Arab Emirates to face charges in Pakistan. Apart from Gilani, another former premier, Raja Pervez Ashraf, is being probed for his role in Tauqir's appointment. Ashraf, as power minister under Gilani, had approved the appointment.

Gilani alleged that the PML-N government was trying to involve him illegally in every inquiry.

The former premier was disqualified by the Supreme Court last year after being convicted of contempt for failing to implement an order to reopen corruption cases against Zardari.

Gilani expressed doubts about the general election in which the

Pakistan Peoples Party was routed by the PML-N. “How could we lose in the elections when we had won every bye-election before the May 11 polls on the basis of our performance?” he asked. Separately, NAB has issued a notice to the Punjab police chief for failing to present Gilani for a probe.

Sajjad Hussain in Islamabad