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FIA insists on abandoning Asghar Khan case verdict implementation

FIA insists on abandoning Asghar Khan case verdict implementation

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Wednesday reiterated its opinion before the Supreme Court to close the case pertaining to implementation of the landmark 2012 judgement in the Air Marshal Asghar Khan case, which concerns dishing out Rs140 million among the politicians allegedly by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) during the 1990 elections.

In a report submitted to a three-judge bench headed by Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, the FIA pleaded that due to death of the principal accused — former provincial head of the Habib Bank Limited Younus Habib — and complainant Air Marshal Asghar Khan as well as nine other politicians accused of receiving the funds, the allegations against the politicians regarding receipt of funds remained unsubstantiated.

The court directed the government to furnish a report saying whether the case referred to the Field General Court Martial against the former army officers was sent under the Army Act and whether the civilians could also be tried under the same law for their alleged involvement in the scam.

Meanwhile, the FIA report said that different banks had not provided substantial evidence against the politicians regarding the distribution of money on the grounds that under the law they were bound to keep the record for a maximum period of 10 years.

Moreover, the politicians had also denied receipt of funds besides there was no evidence of direct handing over of money to the politicians, the report said, adding that due to the absence of corroborative oral and documentary evidence, the matter would not lead to successful prosecution of the case.

The Supreme Court is seized with the case relating to the implementation of the Oct 19, 2012 landmark verdict in which it had ordered the federal government to initiate necessary action against former army chief Aslam Beg and former director general of the ISI retired Lt Gen Asad Durrani for their role in dishing out Rs140m to a particular group of politicians, including Nawaz Sharif, during the 1990 general elections, on a petition by Asghar Khan.

In 1996, Asghar Khan, who had joined politics, filed the petition before the Supreme Court, requesting it to look into the allegations that the ISI financed many politicians in the 1990 elections by dishing out Rs140m among them.

The family of Asghar Khan has contended that it is the matter of immense concern to the family that the 16-year-long struggle from 1996 to 2012 that he carried out resulting in the historic judgement of Oct 19, 2012 by the apex court is not sought to be frustrated by the authorities concerned.

Published in Dawn, June 13th, 2019

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