Asghar Khan case: CJP expresses displeasure over govt’s failure to call cabinet meeting

'Inform us of the cabinet's decision today no matter what'


Muhammad Haroon May 31, 2018
Air Marshal (R) Asghar Khan. PHOTO: FILE PHOTO

LAHORE: The Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Thursday expressed his displeasure over the government's failure to call for a cabinet meeting to discuss the developments in the Asghar Khan case.

The apex court had earlier rejected a review petition by former army chief Gen (retd) Mirza Aslam Beg and former spymaster Gen (retd) Asad Durrani against its 2012 verdict in Asghar Khan case, the apex court has sought a reply from the federal government regarding implementation of its 2012 verdict.

"Why has the federal cabinet not taken any decision pertaining to the case," questioned Justice Nisar during the hearing of the case.

The apex court resumed hearing of the case at the Supreme Court's Lahore Registry. The government's lawyer urged the bench to grant more time to hold the meeting, at this the CJP said that the government does not care much for such a crucial matter. "Call for a cabinet meeting today [Thursday] evening and take a decision today," he ordered.

Aslam Beg’s review plea in Asghar Khan case rejected

"Inform us of the cabinet's decision today no matter what," he further directed the government's counsel. Director-General of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Bashir Memon also appeared in court. Memon informed the court that the agency is still conducting the inquiry.

On October 19, 2012, a Supreme Court bench headed by former chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Chaudhry directed the executive to take action against Beg and Durrani for distributing millions of rupees among politicians against the Pakistan People Party (PPP) ahead of the 1990 general elections.

The SC had also asked the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to probe into the matter against the politicians, including Nawaz Sharif, who had allegedly received donations to spend on election campaigns in the general election of 1990.

Background

On June 16, 1996, Asghar Khan wrote to former CJP Sajjad Ali Shah a letter, which contained names of politicians who had allegedly received money from the ISI ahead of the 1990 polls. The fund was provided by Younas Habib, the chief executive officer of Habib Bank Limited (HBL), then a government bank.

According to the letter, Nawaz Sharif had allegedly received Rs3.5 million; Mir Afzal Khan, Rs10 million; Lt General Rafaqat, Rs5.6 million [for distributing among journalists]; Abida Hussain, Rs1 million; Jamaat-e-Islami, Rs5 million and senior journalist Altaf Hussain Qureshi, Rs500,000.

Govt faces uphill battle in Asghar Khan case

In Sindh, Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi received Rs5 million; Jam Sadiq got Rs5 million; Mohammad Khan Junejo Rs250,000; Pir Pagara, Rs2 million; Maulana Salahuddin, Rs300,000 and other small groups in Sindh got Rs5.4 million. In Balochistan, Humayun Marri received Rs1.5 million. The letter also contained the names of Bizenjo and Kakar tribes.

The SC in its verdict had said former president Ghulam Ishaq Khan, army chief Beg, and the ISI chief Durrani, acted in violation of the Constitution by facilitating a group of politicians and political parties, to ensure their success against rival candidates in the general election of 1990.

 

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