Saturday, August 11, 2018

SC issues notices to Nawaz, Aslam Beg and Asad Durrani in Asghar Khan case

A three-member bench of the Supreme Court will hear the case on Wednesday

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Saturday issued notices to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, former army chief General Mirza Aslam Beg and former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) DG Lieutenant General Asad Durrani in the Asghar Khan case.

DG Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the attorney general have also been issued notices to appear before the apex court on August 15.

A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar will hear the case on Wednesday. 

On June 2, the Supreme Court had issued notices to Nawaz and senior politician Javed Hashmi as well as 19 other civilians named in the case to appear before it.

In a reply submitted to the Supreme Court on June 9, the former prime minister had denied allegations of receiving Rs3.5 million for his 1990 election campaign.

The case

On October 19, 2012, the Supreme Court issued a 141-page verdict, ordering legal proceedings against Gen (retd) Aslam Beg and Lt Gen (retd) Asad Durrani in a case filed 16 years ago by former air chief Air Marshal Asghar Khan.

Khan, who passed away in January this year, was represented in the Supreme Court by renowned lawyer Salman Akram Raja.

Khan had petitioned the Supreme Court in 1996 alleging that the two senior army officers and the then-president Ghulam Ishaq Khan had doled out Rs140 million among several politicians ahead of the 1990 polls to ensure Benazir Bhutto's defeat in the polls.

The Islamic Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI), consisting of nine parties including the Pakistan Muslim League, National Peoples Party and Jamaat-e-Islami, had won the 1990 elections, with Nawaz Sharif being elected prime minister. The alliance had been formed to oppose the Benazir Bhutto-led Pakistan Peoples Party.

In 1996, Khan had written a letter to the then Supreme Court Chief Justice Nasim Hassan Shah naming Beg, Durrani and Younis Habib, the ex-Habib Bank Sindh chief and owner of Mehran Bank, about the unlawful disbursement of public money and its misuse for political purposes.

The 2012 apex court judgment, authored by the then-Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Chaudhry, had directed the Federal Investigation Agency to initiate a transparent investigation and subsequent trial if sufficient evidence is found against the former army officers.

The investigation is yet to conclude.