ISLAMABAD: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) would not be able to collect records from the General Headquarters, or the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), on money allegedly distributed to politicians during the 1990s, said Brig (retd) Shaukat Qadir, a security consultant.
The FIA would not find anything, in terms of documentation, to establish that two former generals – Gen (retd) Mirza Aslam Beg and Lt Gen (retd) Asad Durrani – had distributed millions of rupees among their political favourites to manipulate the general elections, Qadir said.
“The FIA would not get the record of the distributed money since such transactions are not recorded on official files – they are made on verbal directives,” he added.
Qadir, a former chief of Islamabad Policy Research Institute, believes ultimately nothing will happen to the former servicemen found guilty in the Supreme Court ruling on the Asghar Khan case and the politicians who received money.
“The blame game by politicians would die its natural death after some time,” he said, but quickly added that in the future, army generals would think twice before getting involved in such “adventures”.
The generals now know they can be brought to court for their wrongdoings, he said.
Qadir said the army would fully abide by the Supreme Court’s verdict on the Asghar Khan petition, as well as any decision taken by the defence ministry while implementing the ruling against the two retired generals.
Their trial by a military court, however, is not possible, he added. “Firstly, the army would not be able to find any general to head the military tribunal to try Aslam Beg, if, at all, it decides to put Beg on trial,” Qadir said.
Meanwhile, another high-level military source, ruled out a court-martial of the former generals. The case appears similar to the National Logistic Cell (NLC) scam, but it’s not. Why? Because the army has tried retired generals in the NLC scam since they misappropriated public money. That was not the case in the rigging of 1990 elections, the source added.
Media reports, however, say that the money used to rig the 1990 elections was taken from a public sector bank.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 30th, 2012.