The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) faces a herculean task following the apex court verdict on the Asghar Khan petition, according to several officials and experts.
The country’s premier investigation agency will have to recover Rs140 million – the current value of which will be much higher – from certain politicians who allegedly received money from former army chief Gen (retd) Mirza Aslam Beg and former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) director-general Lt-Gen (retd) Asad Durrani in 1990.
Talking to The Express Tribune, former interior secretary Tasneem Durrani said the FIA will have to summon the politicians accused of receiving money so that they may record their statements. The agency will ascertain their guilt keeping in mind various laws, including the Political Parties Act and other codes of conduct formulated by the Election Commission of Pakistan, he added.
“If the accused politicians are found guilty, their cases will be referred to the courts,” observed Durrani.
The FIA DG is likely to take up the matter on Monday (tomorrow), said Azam Khan, the agency’s legal director. The agency will make its final decision on how to tackle the case after receiving copies of the court’s record and its verdict from the Supreme Court registrar’s office. An FIA team will then start its investigation by serving notices to the accused parties, Khan added.
The SC short order also directed that the money be recovered with ‘profit’. FIA’s financial experts will have to determine the current value of the Rs140 million distributed in 1990.
Investor and financial expert Raja Faisal told The Express Tribune that the amount FIA will have to recover is around Rs3.4 billion. “One tola of gold cost Rs2,500 in 1990. Its current cost is about Rs62,100,” he elaborated.
For example, Jamaat-e-Islami allegedly received Rs5 million according to documents submitted to the court. If charges against them are proved, the party will end up paying Rs124.2 million.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 21st, 2012.