Asghar Khan case: SC verdict is unjust, says Aslam Beg

Published: October 25, 2012
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Former army chief Gen Mirza Aslam Beg. PHOTO: FILE

Former army chief Gen Mirza Aslam Beg. PHOTO: FILE

A week after the Supreme Court ordered the government to probe the accused in the Asghar Khan case, former Army Chief General Alsam Beg has said that he has been dealt injustice and that the list of beneficiaries provided by former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lt. Gen. Assad Durrani was fake.

Speaking during an interview on Ary News, Gen. (retired) Aslam Beg alleged that the court had only looked at one side of the story and its efforts to seek further evidence had been largely blocked. He added that the court did not  hear him out, nor did it allow his witnesses be presented or allow any of the other witnesses, save Gen (retired) Naseerullah Babar, to be cross examined.

“I do not accept this judgment … apex court says that criminal liability has been proved – without any proof?”

‘Durrani’s list is fake’

Gen Beg said that the money used in 1990 elections was not public money and that he has proof for that.

“I knew that this money had come and that it was given. The president knew about it – I went to him. I warned [ISI chief] Durrani,” he said.

When asked did he know to whom the money was given to, Gen. Beg denied. “I don’t know.”

When asked whether the money was given to Nawaz Sharif, the former army chief said, “why only Nawaz Sharif, everyone who is on that [Durrani’s] list did not take money. Gen. (retired) Naseerullah Babar has confrimed this.”

When he was asked whether he believed the then ISI chief had lied in court and that Gen. Babar was telling the truth, Gen Beg acknowledged. “I definitely believe that.”

When confronted with the facts presented by Younis Habib, the former army chief said that under the law, a person who has been sentenced and served time in jail, his testimony is not admissible in court.

ISI’s political cell

Asked whether the then ISI chief had not violated his oath through his involvement in the ISI’s political cell, Gen. Beg said that was not the case since Durrani, and all the ISI chief’s who either preceded him or succeeded him were working under the mandate given by prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who had first created the cell in 1975.

Beg though questioned why subsequent governments including those of Ziaul Haq, Ghulam Ishaq Khan, Benazir, Nawaz Sharif and Pervez Musharraf continued to use the political cell instead of shutting it down.

“It has closed today, and it would not have closed if I had not exposed the matter before the Supreme Court in 1997,” the former army chief said, claiming credit for shutting down the spy agencies political cell.

“I told the SC that this all would not have happened if the 1975 notification would not have been issued by Bhutto. On this, the SC said that this notification be brought and shown. It was brought and shown, but after that “there was no light left in the lamps”.

Verdict engineered to postpone elections

Gen. Beg alleged that the verdict in the Asghar Khan case, a case which was taken up after spending 16 mothballed years in the Supreme Court, was orchestrated to postpone the elections, with the incumbent government the obvious beneficiaries.

“The election commission is right. The case was dormant for 16 years, why was it picked up only now?”

“Is it or is it not a plan to delay elections so that after a year Zardari can be relected [as president ] for a second five year term?” he said.

Asghar Khan: Traitor or hero

Commenting on the petition filed by air marshal Asghar Khan, which culminated in the October 19, 2012 order, former army chief said that some new information had been revealed by Field Marshal Ayub Khan’s son Gohar Ayub a few months ago in a television programme.

Beg said that Gohar had revealed that an intelligence intercept of air marshal Asghar Khan’s communication days before the 1965 war had shown that the air force chief would not order his pilots to engage in the war, terming it a ‘war of the khakhis’.

The former army chief said that he then personally rang up Gohar who confirmed the matter to him. When Beg questioned why had the field marshal desisted from trying the air chief for the obvious high treason, the answer provided was that this would tantamount to tarnishing the air force’s image.

Beg went onto add that the Asghar Khan had also sabotaged the PNA-government deal before instigating General Ziaul Haq to stage a coup. “He [Asghar Khan] wrote to Zia that if Bhutto was not immediately removed, he would destroy the country. Zia sent the letter to his formation to create public opinion and a few days later he installed martial law.”

The former army chief further revealed that it was on Asghar Khan’s insistence that Bhutto was hanged. “Whose agenda was it to get rid of Bhutto?” Beg asked, before answering it himself that it was Henry Kissinger who wanted to get rid of the PPP founder for starting Pakistan’s nuclear programme, enhancing ties with China and bring the Muslim world under the umbrella of the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC).

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Reader Comments (20)

  • Majid Urrehman
    Oct 25, 2012 - 5:18AM

    Nawaz Sharif comes clean, MA.

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  • Pragmatist
    Oct 25, 2012 - 5:48AM

    There will be no contempt of court charges against uniforms. Guaranteed. That only applies to PPP politicians.

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  • Concerned
    Oct 25, 2012 - 6:15AM

    And the Conspirator cries, ‘Conspiracy! Conspiracy!’.

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  • Jibran
    Oct 25, 2012 - 6:21AM

    This criminal shows no remorse at all, unlike Gen Asad Durrani. What a shameless character, he and Hamid Gul are. Both of them must be made example of.

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  • sabi
    Oct 25, 2012 - 6:22AM

    So,Mr Beg you are calling everybody is naked in this bath why shouldn’t you be allowed naked
    You have never satisfied a layman’s quest let alone apex court.Best way for you is to apologise to the nation but you have opted for deniyal as refuge.

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  • M.AKRAM
    Oct 25, 2012 - 6:26AM

    General Beg is right, why a decision after 16 years, and why no decision about giving the right of amendment in constitution by Judges of Supreme court including Chief Justice to dictator Musharaf.

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  • Saleem
    Oct 25, 2012 - 6:40AM

    Anyone found guilty says the same thing, still it doesn’t make it right what he did. Would Aslam Beg stand up and say whether he is proud or ashamed of his actions?

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  • karma
    Oct 25, 2012 - 7:16AM

    Bottomline: Mr. Durrani must definitely go to Jail and Mr. Beg, should be censured loosing all his privileges. Pakistan should also try Musharraf and put him in Jail for treason.

    If that’s not done, Pakistan will again have Army interference and coup. Army should know there are consequences to irresponsible action/commission/inaction.

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  • mahmood
    Oct 25, 2012 - 7:18AM

    With generals like these, who needs enemies?

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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Oct 25, 2012 - 7:49AM

    Nawaz Sharif is clean and that is what matters.

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  • Hemant
    Oct 25, 2012 - 7:51AM

    The General refuses to accept any higher authority . Why should he not be prosecuted for dis honoring the ruling of the highest court of the land ? Perhaps Generals are exempt fom contemp proceeding as only apply to lesser mortals like the Prime Ministers .

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  • Nosherwan Shaikh
    Oct 25, 2012 - 8:23AM

    Please edit, very poor grammar!

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  • Oct 25, 2012 - 9:28AM

    “under the law, a person who has been sentenced and served time in jail, his testimony is not admissible in court.”

    Is that true in Pakistan? That all the powers-that-be have to do to silence a prospective unfriendly voice in court is to jail and convict him first on some trumped-up charge?

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  • salim
    Oct 25, 2012 - 11:02AM

    @karma:
    And how about judges who validated military take overs and gave them powers to amend the constitution.

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  • asim
    Oct 25, 2012 - 11:25AM

    SC-CJ is not deciding on issues like president disqualification the case is obvious that he is not eligible to hold this office. But for reasons best to know to CJ he is only making the justice delayed; instead he is digging old cases

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  • Farah
    Oct 25, 2012 - 12:44PM

    Asghar khan was not CinC during the 65 war it was Noor Khan, Gen Beg should relearn history, Asghr Khan left PAF in july 65

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  • Beatle
    Oct 25, 2012 - 1:03PM

    It require a lot of courage to admit the crime committed, and I do not think the guy possess that.

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  • Siddique Malik
    Oct 25, 2012 - 1:21PM

    Where were you Mr. Beg, when the SC was interfering in the matters of the executive branch to the extent of asking the prime minister to ask a foreign government to start legal proceedings against President of Pakistan who has constitutionally-sanctioned immunity from prosecution within his country? Was that “just?” Everybody including your fellow champion of democracy — Nawaz Shariff — was singing praise of the SC. If you and your comrades would have taken a stand on the basis of principle and protested against the interference by SC outside its domain, perhaps, the decision about which you are now complaining would have been “just.” If you help an institution encroach upon another institution’s domain, then you too will one day suffer at the hands of the encroacher. Hore choopo gannay.
    Siddique Malik, Louisville, Kentucky, USA.

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  • elcay
    Oct 25, 2012 - 2:22PM

    @ Asim, you are right. CJ has compromised with the PPP to save his skin because of his son.
    Otherwise why a dormant case of 16 yrs is decided so hastily?

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  • Oct 29, 2012 - 2:10PM

    @Farah:
    “Asghar khan was not CinC during the 65 war it was Noor Khan, Gen Beg should relearn history, Asghr Khan left PAF in july 65”

    .
    Beg is only referring to a TV show, where Gohar Ayub charged, Asghar Khan’s correspondence with Indian high ranking officer was an act of treason. The correspondence took place before the war actually began.

    One should read history and other stuff too, carefully.

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