ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistani anti-corruption authorities ordered one of the leaders of the opposition Pakistan Peoples Party to be confined to her residence on Friday as they continued an anti-graft crackdown that critics say is aimed at stifling dissent.
The National Accountability Board (NAB) ordered Faryal Talpur, sister of former President Asif Ali Zardari, to be confined to her residence in Islamabad in connection with a case of suspected money laundering through fake bank accounts.
An NAB spokesman said Faryal Talpur had been ordered to remain in her house. He said she would be attended by female police officers and her treatment should not be described as an arrest.
The move follows the arrest earlier this week of Zardari, widower of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who was killed in a 2007 suicide attack and whose father, PPP founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, also served as president and prime minister.
The government has denied any role in the arrest of Zardari and says the NAB operates independently. But the crackdown has prompted an angry response from PPP officials, including Zardari’s son, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.
“We will have to go out into the streets and show people how their rights are being taken away,” Bhutto Zardari told a hastily called news conference. “We can see in these days that the rule of law is not being applied.”
As well as Zardari, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is also in jail on corruption charges.
(Reporting by Sheree Sardar, Saad Sayeed and James Mackenzie; Editing by Peter Graff)