Asghar Khan petition: Gen Beg blames ISI for poll rigging

Published: May 9, 2012

General Mirza Aslam Beg says ISI is a separate entity from the army. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

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.

 

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Reader Comments (23)

  • Babloo
    May 9, 2012 - 5:45PM

    Poll rigging was done in “supreme national interest” , to protect the “strategic assets” of the state under the “doctrine of necessity”.

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  • Lobe
    May 9, 2012 - 5:51PM

    ISI was a separate entity from the army and was not under the command of the army chief.—- What?

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  • Saad Khalid
    May 9, 2012 - 6:13PM

    This is an early Eid gift for the ppp.Finally,they get to see the military fighting amongst itselves,blaming each other.A great and joyous occasion for the jiyalas.

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  • Yaida M
    May 9, 2012 - 6:19PM

    With so many centres of power, Pakistan can hardly be called a functioning nation. Every wing is only looking after its interests. We can only hold the politicians responsible nobody has the guts to bring to account the “jernails”. They have looted Pakistan’s coffers as much as the politicians.

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  • Ashraf P
    May 9, 2012 - 6:21PM

    The SC had no trouble indicting the politicians like Gilani. Let us see if they show some backbone and bring any of the generals to justice. We all know what the answer to that is.

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  • Proud Baigharat
    May 9, 2012 - 7:09PM

    Did anybody notice to prevent the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) from winning!!!
    I think we need to support & appreciate the ISI here because it was in the national interest to keep the most corrupt PPP at bay……!! In the last election PPP was allowed to win & now we are enjoying the fruits of their negligence ….

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  • Shahid Malik
    May 9, 2012 - 7:15PM

    General Beg has admitted 1990 polls were rigged. So, the government of Nawaz Sharif was illegitimate. I wonder if Chaudhry Court will have the guts to say so and punish Nawaz Sharif for usurping power unconstitutionally. In fact, it amounts to treason under Article 6.

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  • Elhaan Khan
    May 9, 2012 - 7:26PM

    @Proud Baigharat: Corrupt generals ragged elections to make sure PPP didn’t win and they keep on using religious fanatics as foreign policy tools for which our Pakhtunland has been using for the last 33 years.

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  • Barkat
    May 9, 2012 - 7:30PM

    don’t blame ISI, blame our so called leaders, who’s are nothing without the help of ISI.

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  • Raza
    May 9, 2012 - 7:34PM

    @Produ Baigharat

    Just think about what you have said and you will feel not like a Proudh Baigharat as you claim yourself to be, but rather a stupid one.Recommend

  • curiouser_and_curiouser
    May 9, 2012 - 7:46PM

    So the army rigged the 1990 elections in favour of Nawaz “amariyat say nijaat” Sharif. Interesting. Any comments, PML-N supporters?

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  • Ahmedyar
    May 9, 2012 - 7:56PM

    Isi roll is very negative this has brought a hatered in public Ivan only say we don’t need such a big army we can’t afford to make at least 40 generals every year and retire the same stuff every year with full benefits for god sake close all cadet colleges and convert them to technical colleges so that we can compet in the world same is for these corrupt politicans what they are telling as not to obey the courts then where we are heading

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  • @plarkin
    May 9, 2012 - 8:00PM

    Can you imagine a serving general heading up the ISI not being subservient to the army chief? Recommend

  • Much Amused
    May 9, 2012 - 8:03PM

    @Ashraf P:
    Agree with your dare. It will be a first if the SC does not obfuscate. Lets see.

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  • Mirza
    May 9, 2012 - 8:15PM

    The country including the SC must learn from the example of Turkey. More recently dozens of generals are arrested withut much fuss for their wrong-doings. Here is a practical example of strengthening of democratic institutions. Would the PCO SC once again fail to be fair across the board? Once again this news did not make most of the Paksitani papers, I wonder why this free media keeps failing to show their idependence?
    http://news.yahoo.com/generals-detained-turkeys-1997-coup-probe-144556417.html

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  • MadHatter
    May 9, 2012 - 8:21PM

    Mirza and others, why are you harping on about the Generals? Mr Nawaz Sharif was colluding with the ISI to rig elections in his favour. This raises some serious questions about his new found love to democracy and the rule of law. He is the one with the most explaining to do.

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  • Mirza
    May 9, 2012 - 10:12PM

    @MadHatter:
    NS is no innocent in this matter. However, NS was not a paid govt servant (like generals and judges) to protect the public and be fair. Not on the payroll to commit election fraud. NS received small amount of funds while the generals plundered huge amounts for their rightwing cronies to steal the elections. Yet as usual the generals live happily ever after.
    Regards,
    Mirza

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  • Khan Jr
    May 9, 2012 - 10:47PM

    Mirza Aslam Beg should explain how his post-retirement so-called policy think-tank “Friends”
    managed to lay its hands on loot from the Mehran Bank scandal funds.

    It would appear that this ex-army chief maybe trying to pass on the blame onto his subordinates for his own likely malfeasance.

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  • It's a crazy world
    May 9, 2012 - 10:48PM

    mirza

    NS received small amount of funds
    while the generals plundered huge
    amounts for their rightwing cronies to
    steal the elections. Yet as usual the
    generals live happily ever after.

    You make it sound like Nawaz Sharif had a little side role in this affair. But the elections were rigged for the benefit of Nawaz Sharif himself. Nawaz Sharif, not any general, was the biggest beneficiary of this tampering with the democratic process. And they are all long gone while he is still around, hungry for more.

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  • Ch Allah Daad
    May 10, 2012 - 2:32AM

    Nawaz Sharif is the most popular leader since 1990. He never needed any agency to rig election for him. He always won on his record and due to poor performance of PPP. Agencies spread these lies and rumours only to influence elected leaders. This whole case is infact a drama to derogate our great leader.

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  • Shahid Malik
    May 10, 2012 - 12:02PM

    @Proud Baigharat:
    This is not an acceptable approach.

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  • Lala Gee
    May 10, 2012 - 8:43PM

    “General Beg has admitted 1990 polls were rigged. So, the government of Nawaz Sharif was illegitimate. I wonder if Chaudhry Court will have the guts to say so and punish Nawaz Sharif for usurping power unconstitutionally. In fact, it amounts to treason under Article 6.”

    Nawaz and Zardari are the two faces of the same coin and I despise both of them for the same reasons. How could one ignore the NRO’ed Zardari & Co.? Doesn’t his government also deserve the same treatment and shouldn’t they also be thrown where you want the other half?

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  • Iram
    May 11, 2012 - 11:56AM

    Shameful conduct of NS at its top.

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