‘Gilani’s wife got undue favour in Rs 570-million default case’

Pakistan Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani's wife was granted an "undue favour" when authorities settled a case registered against her for defaulting on bank loans after she paid back only a part of the amount she had borrowed, according to a media report on Sunday.

Gilani's wife Fauzia was asked by authorities to repay only Rs 45.5 million though her total liabilities were Rs 570 million, sources in the National Accountability Bureau were quoted as saying by the Dawn newspaper.

Fauzia Gilani had obtained two loans totalling nearly Rs 200 million from the Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited and the principal amount swelled to Rs 570 million due to non-payment of the loans over a decade. The sources said Fauzia Gilani had gone through the prescribed procedure for settlement of wilful default cases and the move amounted to "confessed wilful default".

The case was settled by the bank in line with two orders issued by the Sindh High Court and a circular of the State Bank of Pakistan. After receiving a clearance of liability certificate from the bank, the National Accountability Bureau withdrew the cases against Fauzia Gilani.

Irked by reports that his wife had benefited from the controversial National Reconciliation Ordinance issued by former military ruler Pervez Musharraf to scrap graft cases, Gilani had said he would quit if this was proved.

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