ISLAMABAD: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has suggested to the Supreme Court (SC) to close the inquiry for initiating action against politicians who allegedly received money from Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) ahead of the 1990 general elections.
As the top court is resuming the hearing regarding the non-implementation of its October 19, 2012 judgment in the Asghar Khan case tomorrow (Monday), the FIA has submitted a report, wherein it has recommended the SC to ‘close the matter on merit’ as the agency could not get evidence to initiate criminal proceedings against politicians who got the money.
It is learnt that the report says that as the matter is 24 years old, therefore, the FIA could not get relevant record from banks as well as other institutions, adding that the witness testimonies contain many gaps and do not match.
The report says the politicians accused of receiving money for rigging elections have also denied the charges and no proper record has been recovered of money being transferred from related accounts to those of anyone involved.
The FIA was investigating the matter related to politicians on the directives of the apex court. On the other hand, the matter related to military officers involved in the distribution of funds to politicians was referred to the GHQ.
The defence authorities initiated proceedings against military officers involved in the case. The court was informed on September 25 that the defence authorities had convened a ‘court of inquiry’ to initiate proceedings against the officers involved in the distribution of funds among politicians.
Additional Attorney General Nayyar Rizvi submitted a one-page report stating that the competent authority had convened a court of inquiry on the matter. A lieutenant general had been appointed as president of the court and its members had also been nominated.
The accused military officers include former army chief General (retd) Mirza Aslam Beg, former ISI chief Lt Gen (retd) Asad Durrani, Brig (retd) Hameed Saeed Akhtar and Lt Gen (retd) Rafaqat.
The report said communication had been established with the FIA and assistance would be provided to it as required.
The top court had directed the defence ministry to provide to the FIA relevant information related to five retired military officials, including Saeed and Brigadiers (retd) Amanullah Khan and Akbar Ali Khan.
During the hearing on September 25, the chief justice noted that no institution is above the law as this matter pertains to a high institution and senior politicians. On the court of inquiry, the CJP said that it meant that the trial of accused military officers had started.
On the last date of hearing, FIA Director General Bashir Memon requested the bench to hold in-camera proceedings in chamber to convey some critical things. The bench accepted his plea.
The FIA in its report revealed that there are contradictions in the statements of former army chief Aslam Beg and former ISI DG Asad Durrani regarding the 1990 elections.
The report said Beg completely denied receiving instructions from the Presidency or the GHQ and claimed that Lt Gen (retd) Durrani was directly in touch with the Presidency. On the other hand, Durrani admitted to distribution of money on instructions from the president’s election cell comprising Ijlal Haider Zaidi and Roedad Khan, and added that the army high command was on board.
In his statement, Durrani stated that Lt Col Iqbal Saeed and Lt Col Salman Butt were responsible for disbursement of funds in Punjab, while Brigadier Hamid Saeed was responsible for Sindh.
At least 12 politicians whose names were mentioned during the case proceedings have passed away.
According to the late Asghar Khan’s petition, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, whose party won the 1990 elections, received Rs3.5 million, Mir Afzal Khan Rs10 million, Abida Hussain Rs1 million and Jamaat-e-Islami Rs5 million.
In Sindh, Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi received Rs5 million, Jam Sadiq Rs5 million, Muhammad Khan Junejo Rs250,000, Pir Pagara Rs2 million and other small groups Rs5.4 million. In Balochistan, Humayun Marri received Rs1.5 million. The alleged beneficiaries also included the Bizenjo and Kakar tribes.