ISLAMABAD: Former army chief Gen Mirza Aslam Beg has blamed the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) for distributing money among various politicians to rig the 1990 elections as alleged in air marshal Asghar Khan’s petition.
Maintaining his innocence, Beg submitted another statement before the Supreme Court, in which he claimed that the ISI was a separate entity from the army and was not under the command of the army chief.
Beg insisted he was not directly involved in maintaining accounts and distributing funds during 1990 elections. “…In fact, the accounts were maintained by the ISI and (Beg) only instructed then DG ISI Gen (retd) Asad Durrani to maintain accounts and no misappropriation was ever reporter or came to his knowledge,” according to the statement.
Beg submitted his statement in compliance of the court’s April 25 order asking him to prove his innocence. However, he failed to provide details of the accounts maintained by the ISI, as requested by the court.
Instead, the former army chief said that he had already submitted in his concise statement that the money was not placed in the army account; rather it was placed in the account of the ISI. Thus, he added, Gen (retd) Durrani would have knowledge of the required details.
Beg reiterated that from the very outset of the case he maintained that he had absolutely no involvement in the disbursement of donations ordered by then president Ghulam Ishaq Khan.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry will resume hearing of the Asghar Khan’s petition on May 10.
According to the petition, millions of rupees were distributed among a number of key politicians by the country’s premier intelligence agencies and the army in a bid to rig the 1990 elections and prevent the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) from winning.
Missing inquiry reports
Meanwhile, an official of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) told The Express Tribune that the missing inquiry reports regarding Mehran Bank and Habib Bank are yet to be traced. He added that all out efforts were being made to trace the judicial commissions’ reports.
During the previous hearing, Attorney General Irfan Qadir had sought time from the court to trace the missing reports.
The court expressed its astonishment over the fact that Mehran Bank’s inquiry report was privately available but was not available on official record.
Asghar Khan’s counsel Salman Akram Raja had received permission from the court to present a copy of the Mehran Bank inquiry commission report from journalist Hamid Mir.