Lawyers affiliated with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Monday filed a petition in the Supreme Court (SC) to proceed against the Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) for allegedly using funds from the national exchequer to manoeuvre results in various election years.
The petition filed by Chaudhry Imtiaz Ahmad under Article 184(3) of the Constitution through PML-N’s lawyer Chaudhry Muhammad Ashraf Gujjar, accuses the PPP of using public funds to manipulate election results in the year 1988-89, 1989-90, 1993, 1994, 2007-08, 2009-10 and 2011-12.
The court is also requested to take stern action against Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf for an unprecedented spending spree, accusing the premier of finishing his annual discretionary development budget of Rs22 billion in just three and a half months.
Similarly, the petition mentions, that another allocation of Rs10,00,000 to the prime minister’s account, by the finance ministry, is expected to be utilised in pre-poll rigging. The petitioner claims that the money is apprehended to be spent in the constituencies of his choice.
The petitioner pleads the court to declare rules and procedure for the funds allocated for the intelligence bureau (IB) and that it should only allow spending of money from secret fund to obtain or uncover sensitive information, to protect national interest, imperative for the security of Pakistan.
“The Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) does not allow purchasing of vehicles, machinery, computers, furniture, fixture, stationery or any other thing for which a separate head is provided in the budget. The secret fund cannot be used for any such expenditure in any case except following the SOP,” read the petition.
The PML-N has come under fire after the SC issued its verdict on the Asghar Khan case. In recent weeks, the party has faced huge criticism from all quarters, particularly from the ruling PPP that accuses the PML-N of rigging the 1990 general elections.
However, independent observers termed the petition as a damage control effort by the PML-N by targeting its political rival PPP.
Federation of Pakistan, Directorate of Intelligence Bureau (DIB), Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan, two reporters of daily The News Ansar Abbasi and Asad Kharal of The Express Tribune are made respondents in the petition.
The applicant also pleaded to declare that former ISI director general Gen (retd) Asad Durrani, who had close working and cordial relations with banker Younus Habib, was an actual mastermind behind a conspiracy to prevent PML-N chief Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif from succeeding in the general elections held in 1993.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 6th, 2012.