Asghar Khan petition: ISI not under the command of army chief, says Gen Aslam Beg

Published: May 10, 2012

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

ISLAMABAD: 

Former army chief General (retd) Mirza Aslam Beg has made an interesting disclosure before the apex court: The Directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is a separate entity which is not under the command of the army chief.

Gen Beg made the disclosure on Wednesday in a written statement submitted before the apex court in connection with a petition filed by former air chief Air Marshal (retd) Asghar Khan about alleged rigging in the 1990 election.

Maintaining his innocence, Gen Beg blamed the ISI for distributing money among politicians to rig the 1990 parliamentary elections.

The former army chief insisted that he was not directly involved in maintaining accounts and distributing funds during the 1990 elections.

“… In fact, the accounts were maintained by the ISI and (Gen Beg) only instructed then DG ISI Lt Gen (retd) Asad Durrani to maintain accounts and no misappropriation was ever reported or came to his knowledge,” said the statement.

Gen Beg submitted the statement in compliance with the apex 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 was requested by the court.

Instead, Gen Beg said that he had already submitted in his concise statement that the money was not placed in the army’s account; rather it was placed in the account of the ISI. Thus, he added, Lt Gen (retd) Durrani would have knowledge of the required details.

Gen Beg reiterated that he had maintained all along 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.

The petitioner alleges that millions of rupees was distributed among key politicians by the country’s spy agencies and the army in a bid to rig the 1990 elections and prevent the Pakistan Peoples Party 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.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 10th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (8)

  • Mansoor Akhtar
    May 10, 2012 - 6:18AM

    Is this a sovereign nation?

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  • PakPunjabi
    May 10, 2012 - 6:45AM

    WOW! This is big – “ISI not under the command of Army Chief.” ISI is truly secretive….

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  • Ch Allah Daad
    May 10, 2012 - 7:06AM

    After BB’s dismissal in 1990, Nawaz Sharif became hot favourite to win election. If he was not going to win then who else was? He did not need agencies help to get elected. Whole drama of ISI invovlement was staged by Generals to influence elected government and get favours.

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  • Mirza
    May 10, 2012 - 7:56AM

    The generals with the help of SC not only hanged elected PM ZAB and deprived PPP from power; they put his widow and daughter in jail for many years. Then they stole yet another election from BB by using the public money in 1990. The process has not ended and BB was murdered with hundred plus supporters in the two attacks. The BB murder case and Taseer’s blatant killing and his son’s disappearance have not seen a single day in any high court in the country. However, the SC is busy with three CJ of HC in political cases against yet another elected PPP govt.
    The court should determine if ISI is not in govt’s control and army’s control then why is it out of control? These paid govt servants must be made to act like the other servants.

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  • jagjit sidhoo
    May 10, 2012 - 9:23AM

    Who is it under ?

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  • IZ
    May 10, 2012 - 10:37AM

    If the ISI doesn’t answer to civilian authority and doesn’t answer to the army chief, who does it answer to? The national interest fairy?

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  • Ignorant
    May 10, 2012 - 12:01PM

    It is not under COAS but its DGs have always remained serving generals! What a joke! It is not under Army but when the incumbent government wanted to put it under the ministry of interior, it was beaten to withdraw the notification within 48 hours! By whom? You don’t know? What a joke! Every COAS is on record to have repeatedly boasted of owning the spy agency but I think Mirza Aslam Beg is suffering from short term memory.

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  • Salman Zafar
    May 11, 2012 - 12:14AM

    Aslam Baig is saving his skin….

    We all know who took money and why…

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