Mehrangate case: SC tells AG to overview investigative reports from Mehran, Habib banks

Published: March 9, 2012

Former ISI chief Durrani informs the court that the money was collected by the business community of Karachi. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Friday while adjourning the hearing till March 14, directed Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq to overview the investigative reports of Habib Bank and Mehran in order to support the proceedings.

Former director-general Inter-Services Intelligence Asad Durrani had revealed that the money was distributed to politicians on the directives of the then army chief General (retd) Mirza Aslam Baig and the then president Ghulam Ishaq Khan.

During the hearing of the case filed by Air Martial (Retd) Asghar Khan against the ISI’s alleged  role in distributing money amongst politicians in the Supreme Court, Durrani had informed the court that he wasn’t sure if Ishaq Khan was involved in the scandal, but he said that he had “backed” it.

Durrani had also said that the money was collected by the business community of Karachi.

Earlier, Baig while submitting his reply in the Supreme Court had snubbed Mehran bank’s former chief Younis Habib’s allegations.

Baig, in his statement, had said that Habib, the central protagonist of the scandal, was trying to “scandalise” court’s proceedings and was trying to malign his and former president’s name.

Habib’s allegations were rejected in the first paragraph of the four-page affidavit submitted to the court by Baig. The remaining affidavit consisted other details and references from the previous court hearings.

An overview of the document was done by the three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.

Chief Justice Chaudhry pointed out that paragraph 14 of the affidavit was contemptuous. Shaikh defended Baig saying that the paragraph should be read in context with the other paragraphs.

Baig apologised to the court and presented the following written apology:

 “TO THE SUPREME COURT OF PAKISTAN

With reference to my affidavit in response to affidavit of Younis Habib. I sincerely apologize for the contents of paragraph 14 of my affidavit, and submit that it may be deleted and not considered as part of my affidavit.

Sd/-

Mirza Aslam Beg

March 9, 2012”

The chief justice permitted him to delete the following paragraph:

“That in submitting this counter affidavit I sincerely thank this Hon’ble Court, for making me complete my ‘Hat-trick’, of appearing thrice before this apex court – first before Chief Justice M Afzal Zullah, second time before Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah and now before this honourable court, under the dynamic leadership of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. This is an honour, bestowed on me – which no other COAS can possibly claim. And yet, I wonder: “Jane kis jurm ki paye hay saza yad naheen.” (Why I am being punished, I know not).”

The chief justice observed that there were conflicting statements given to the court by all the respondents, hence it was necessary to launch an inquiry in this case.

Concurring to the chief justice’s statement, Shaikh said that if a judicial commission is constituted by the court, it will be duly accepted.

Advocate Salman Akram Raja said that the records from banks where the money was transacted from should be obtained.  He also said that all the respondents, being government officials, have violated the oath by committing this act.

Advocate Raja said that directive according to the constitution should be given so that such a scandal do not surface in the future.

The affidavit has been handed over to the media, while the other documents submitted by Baig’s counsel Akram Shaikh remained with the judicial bench.

In the documents, Shaikh maintained that his client had previously complied with the court’s orders and was still willing to do so.

During Thursday’s hearing, Habib had tendered an unconditional apology for his deeds and had said that he was used by former army chief Baig and former president Ishaq Khan and subsequently jailed for four years.

He had further revealed that, due to pressure from the “higher-ups”, he had arranged for Rs1.48 billion out of which Rs140 million were distributed among political parties while the rest were invested in army welfare schemes and transferred to account numbers provided by ISI officials on the directives of Baig.

Asghar Khan’s petition, filed in 1996, had requested the court to look into allegations that the ISI had provided Rs140 million to create the Islamic Jamhoori Itehad to harm Benazir Bhutto’s election campaign.

‘Yousuf Advocate didn’t deliver money to Altaf Hussain’

Habib, in an exclusive interview with Express News said that Rs20 million which were handed to Yousuf Advocate to be sent to Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain, were not delivered.

Habib said that Advocate had embezzled the money.

MQM celebrates after Col Akbar’s statement

As reports that Hussain did not take money in the Mehrangate scandal surfaced, MQM called for celebrations throughout its units present in Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur and Nawabshah.

The party’s coordination committee said that the explanatory statement given in the case razed all the allegations against him. The committee also said that the elements which are conspiring against Hussain were trying to mislead the masses by alleging that Hussain received money from ISI.

However, after Colonel (retd) Akbar said in an interview that in his presence, Brigadier Hamid tried to persuade Hussain to take money, but the latter refused.

Reader Comments (24)

  • ahmad
    Mar 9, 2012 - 10:44AM

    Gen. Baig, Gen. Asad are a disgrace for army but sadly they represent the common mentality of Generals. At least they must serve some jail time for their role.

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  • Hasnat
    Mar 9, 2012 - 11:11AM

    One must appreciate the supreme court on the account that it has shaked all the cases but unfortunately rare of them are leading to some logical end. Who willl do this?

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  • Irtiza
    Mar 9, 2012 - 11:35AM

    I wish BB was alive to witness all this.

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  • Justin Truthful
    Mar 9, 2012 - 11:56AM

    Mirza Aslam Baig: Be careful while you address the Supreme Court as you no longer have the clout of an Army Chief. Now is the time to repent and admit your wrong doings!

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  • zeeshan
    Mar 9, 2012 - 12:11PM

    Nawaz Sharif is gonna b disclosed soooooonnnn

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  • MUNIB
    Mar 9, 2012 - 12:12PM

    Dear General Aslam Baig sahib, this is not 1990 , its 2012 , wakeup and admit your mistake and if possible seek apology from “Bloody Civilians “

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  • Raj - USA
    Mar 9, 2012 - 12:15PM

    Is Gen. Baig not the one who is suspected or ordering Dr. A.Q. Khan to proliferate nuclear technology to Iran and libya and also providing assistance to Dr. Khan in the proliferation activities ?

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  • Billoo Bhaya
    Mar 9, 2012 - 12:23PM

    Amazing hypocrisy demonstrated by Generals (Baig and Durrani) in the SC, while they pontificate on their piety in public and on TV. Are there not 10 righteous men left in Pakistan??? Allah destroyed Sodom because Lut could not produce 10 men. Yesterday we heard an illustrious defender of the law express inanities to absolve the PM of contempt. Poor Jinnah, if he had known what was going to become of his Pakistan, he would have stayed put in his Malabar Hills house and continued with his law practice.

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  • Farooq
    Mar 9, 2012 - 12:33PM

    I wish the Supreme Court take a stern action against all those responsible in the case to make example for future generals as well as politicians.
    All responsible must be brought to justice especially those giving the money, ordering its distribution, those who actually distributed the money and those who received the money.
    The generals must go to jail and the politicians should atleast be banned for future politics if not going to jail.

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  • IFTIKHAR-UR-REHMAN
    Mar 9, 2012 - 1:59PM

    All involved including the generals ,politicians, bankers and lawyers are a disgrace to this Nation and it’s Armed forces. They should be punished for their crimes!!!!!

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  • ali
    Mar 9, 2012 - 2:15PM

    @zeeshan:
    That is why he has yet again escaped to LONdon,………!

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  • Adnan
    Mar 9, 2012 - 2:36PM

    @Raj – USA:
    none of ur business..O.K.

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  • Aafiyat Nazar
    Mar 9, 2012 - 2:50PM

    This is really a heinous crime, which the gangsters have committed, they must be punished.

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  • common pakistani
    Mar 9, 2012 - 2:51PM

    Good for MQM for not taking money.

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  • My Lord
    Mar 9, 2012 - 2:59PM

    All united against PPP…in past, today and for future. Still, it wins every election.

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  • Lord
    Mar 9, 2012 - 4:24PM

    Hatts off to bhai for not taking the money.

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  • PK
    Mar 9, 2012 - 5:20PM

    Well first Brigadier Imtiaz said that Altaf Hussain refused to take money. Then Brigadier Hamid. Now Colonel Akber and Yunus Habib. It seems that he really didnt took money. That is really great. I may not agree with Altaf Hussain, I definitely dont like his songs, but I must admit he certainly has principles… For once I feel like saying GA ALTAF….

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  • M.Akthar
    Mar 9, 2012 - 5:56PM

    Altaf Bhai.. hats off.

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  • Faiz
    Mar 9, 2012 - 6:07PM

    MQM MQM MQM
    Well done once again for keeping us proud

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  • Rohit
    Mar 9, 2012 - 7:38PM

    Hats off to Altaf Hussain for not taking money.!!!

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  • Mirza
    Mar 9, 2012 - 7:40PM

    Not only the generals extorted hundreds of millions and distrubuted at will, they also forced Y. Habib to file fake cases against Zardari. Everything was done by the generals and rightwing touts against BB and PPP, yet they could not keep it from coming to power. Are these not the generals (from Zia to Mus) who hanged ZAB, and did everything possible to hurt their party? Yet the hate campaign and slogan of corruption is only directed toward PPP? Despite all this drama in the SC, I would believe it when it would make a real decision!

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  • Mansoor
    Mar 10, 2012 - 2:16AM

    I had not imagined that I would be alive to witness this, indeed those who sabotaged BB shaheed’s vision of Pakistan are being disgraced. Jeay Bhutto, Jeay Awam!

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  • Ishaq
    Mar 10, 2012 - 7:17PM

    It will be in the broader national interest to disqualify and punish all those involved in this crime. Also it is important to recover the money from each individual with complete markup. It is the tax payer’s money spent by these corrupt people for political motives. It is a serous crime. When the SC would formally charge the culprits including Mirza Aslam Baig ? It had been over 17 years by now. PM Gillani has been charged, Babar Awan has also been charged, Waheeda Shah already convicted. Why such delay in this case.

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  • Sameer
    Mar 13, 2012 - 7:06PM

    A common man has everything to do with Asghar Khan Petition. If a breed of politicians can take money to topple governments, why should I trust them with my vote? What is the assurance that they won’t indulge in corruption tomorrow? And this is a minor case what has made it to the court, what about millions and billions of corruption where the evidence is not easily producible? And if unfortunately PML-N comes into power who will pay taxes to a corrupt Govt? Taking it further, if govt. is unable to collect taxes, how can the govt. run? Will they be able to make investments in energy, infrastructure, law enforcement, education, and healthcare? See this is a whole cycle that is tied to a common man at the end.

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