While there are few details regarding how exactly the government spent the Rs270 million it withdrew from the Intelligence Bureau’s (IB) secret funds in 2008, details of a previous such withdrawal in 1989-90 are available.
The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) government withdrew over Rs100 million from IB’s secret funds from 1989 to 1990 when a no-confidence motion was brought against the then-prime minister Benazir Bhutto, for the general elections in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), and saving the NWFP (now Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa) government, records available with The Express Tribune reveal.
The amount was distributed to various party leaders and functionaries, despite the fact that IB’s secret funds can only be used to obtain or uncover sensitive information necessary to protect ‘national interest.’
Grants in 1988-89
According to the available documents, Rs3.2 million were allocated for secret works in the approved budget of 1988-89, but Rs15.284 million were approved as supplementary grant.
Of this supplementary grant, Rs4.084 million were allocated for “sniffing” purposes, while the remaining amount, Rs11.2 million, was given by then-IB joint director Maj (retd) Masood Sharif Khan to the then-additional secretary to the prime minister’s secretariat Mohibullah Shah on April 14, 1989. Almost two months later, on June 15, 1989, Rs5 million were paid to then-chief minister NWFP Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao. Receiving receipts for both these transactions are available in the agency’s record.
Grants in 1989-90
In the 1989-1990 budget, Rs5.8 million were allocated for IB’s formal works but between October 1989 and June 1990, a massive amount of Rs124.3 million was given to the IB as a supplementary grant, allegedly for managing political crisis.
The supplementary grant came in seven tranches – Rs20 million on October 16, 1989, Rs50 million on October 26, Rs2.5 million on February 10, 1990, Rs13 million on March 19, Rs20 million on April 10, Rs10 million on May 6 and Rs8.8 million on June 14.
Of these, only two tranches amounting to Rs28.8 million, in April and June 1990, were given for the agency’s routine affairs. The remaining, Rs95.5 million, had been withdrawn with orders from the PM Secretariat.
Who received what?
While the Rs95.5 million were distributed to various personalities, some prominent names feature among the recipients.
The then-NWFP chief minister, Sherpao, received another Rs10 million on October 25, 1989 through Malik Waris Khan, in the name of the agency chief. A day later, on October 26, the then-special assistant to the prime minister Major (retd) Naseerullah Baber received Rs30 million while the IB chief received Rs20 million on October 28.
A large amount was given to Hanif Khan, the then-minister for Kashmir affairs, in June 1990 – Rs20 million on June 12, Rs0.112 million on June 15 and Rs0.1 million on June 18.
At the same time, Naheed Khan, former political secretary to Benazir Bhutto, also received Rs2.6 million during June 1990 – Rs0.1 million on June 16, Rs0.5 million on June 19, Rs1 million on June 25 and Rs1 million on June 30.
All receipts of amounts disbursed to Naheed Khan are available in IB’s records.
These funds have been deliberately used illegally, said Sardar Noor Elahi Leghari who headed the IB between September 5, 1989 and August 9, 1990 in his report, a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune. Even Benazir Bhutto committed misappropriation, Leghari stated.
All supplementary grants given to the IB regarding secret funds are distributed with the direction of the chief executive [prime minister], who is the competent authority to deal with these financial matters, Leghari wrote in his notes.
This misappropriation is more serious when one considers the circumstances, i.e. the move of no- confidence against the premier tabled in the National Assembly, Leghari noted.
A total of Rs70 million were given to the prime minister between October 25 and 28, 1989, despite the fact that a no-confidence motion was tabled in the parliament on October 26, the report adds.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 15th, 2012.