ISLAMABAD: Announcing the short order of a 16-year-old case, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said the then Army chief, president and DG ISI were involved in rigging the elections of 1990 and ordered for an inquiry by the FIA against all those involved, Express News reported on Friday.
The court said that corrupt practices took place in the 1990 elections and the Asghar Khan petition was now admissible for regular hearing as it is a crucial matter of national importance.
The short order stated that a political cell was formed in the President House in 1990 and former DG ISI Assad Durrani, Army Chief Aslam Beg and president Ghulam Ishaq Khan were involved in the rigging of the elections.
The court said that the elections were influenced monetarily.
Ordering the FIA to initiate a transparent inquiry against those involved according to criminal law, the short order said that the FIA and Army can assist the civilian government but cannot interfere in it.
The court also ordered for immediate termination of any poltical or election cell operational within the Presidency at the moment.
The Mehrangate scandal emerged after the Supreme Court began the hearing of air marshal Asghar Khan’s petition in which he stated that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) rigged the 1990 elections by handing out money to several politicians.
During the hearing of the case, harsh words were exchanged between Attorney General Irfan Qadir and the three-member bench of the court.
Qadir said that the Supreme Court cannot regulate the presidential office but that was what seemed to be happening here.
Expressing displeasure over Justice Jawwad S Khawaja’s statement earlier that Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) had not done anything in four years, the attorney general said that the court should not blame the government for this. Instead, he said, the court should tell the people why the case has been pending for 16 years.
Further criticising the court, Qadir said that the judiciary had even given permission for military intervention, to which Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry remarked that he should present arguments according to his duty.
Ministry of Defence representatives were also present in the court. They told the bench that letters had been written to the Military Intelligence (MI) and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) with regards to the Rs80 million that were allegedly kept away.
The Supreme Court then reserved its judgement on the case and said that the short order would be announced at 12:30pm.
Earlier, former head of the MI Sindh chapter Brigadier Hamid Saeed submitted his statement claiming that the 1990 operation was initiated by the army and supervised by the MI for “national interest”.
Read the full text of the short order here.