ISLAMABAD: As the Supreme Court gets ready to resume hearing of the case filed by Air Martial (Retd) Asghar Khan against the Inter-Services Intelligence’s (ISI) alleged role in distributing money amongst politicians, yet another petition was filed in the apex court for closure of its political wing.
The petitioner, Chairman Al-Jihad Trust, Habib Wahabul Khairi, known for being a counsel in the Supreme Court’s 1999 famous judgment related to judges’ appointment criteria, alleged that former Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto established the ISI’s political cell for his vested personnel interests in 1975.
“The purpose of my petition is to end ISI’s interference in political affairs of the state, as it is a violation of fundamental rights,” Khairi said.
Khan's petition, filed in 1996, had requested the court to look into allegations that the ISI had provided Rs140 million to create the Islamic Jamhoori Itehad to harm Benazir Bhutto’s election campaign.
Recently, General Mirza Aslam Beg, then army chief, and Lt General Assad Durrani, then ISI chief, confessed to the allegations against them in Khan's petition, in their affidavits submitted to the court.
Khairi was also Khan’s counsel in the 1996 case against ISI when it was taken up by the Supreme Court.
However this time around, Khairi would argue on his application separately before a three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, while Advocate Suleman Akram Raja would appear on behalf of Khan.
Khairi has also made Beg and Durrani respondents in his application and requested the court to order closing down ISI’s political wing permanently.
He asked the court to ensure recovery of the distributed money from political parties including Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), keeping in view the present value of the money and declare all those politicians ineligible for their corrupt practices in the elections.
Khairi also submitted a written affidavit of former interior minister Naseerullah Babar regarding ISI’s role in state affairs that had already been submitted in Supreme Court along with a secret report of the Zulfiqar Commission.
He would also present a statement of Lt Colonel Shams Toheed about some negative trends in the armed forces and ask the court to pass an appropriate order so that such trends could be rectified through amendments in the army act.