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Thursday Jan 10 2019

Asghar Khan’s family rejects FIA recommendations, demands decision on case


ISLAMABAD: The legal heirs of late Asghar Khan on Thursday rejected the Federal Investigation Agency's (FIA) recommendations and requested the Supreme Court not to close the case.

The late air chief marshal had petitioned SC in 1996 alleging that two senior army officers and then-president Ghulam Ishaq Khan had doled out Rs140 million among several politicians to rig the 1990 polls against Benazir Bhutto.

In a joint response filed by the late air chief marshal's family, including his wife and son Ali Asghar Khan, the heirs pleaded the apex court that the case should be taken to its logical conclusion.

The family stated that it wants the court's decision in the Asghar Khan case so that it can be put before the people of Pakistan.

The FIA, in a previous hearing at the SC, had submitted a report stating that there was "not enough evidence to continue investigating" the case. “There are contradictions in the statements of the witnesses,” the report had said.

Furthermore, the report had stated that the case was more than 25 years old and no record of bank transactions could be found.

"Politicians who were accused of taking money have also denied the allegations," it had read.

On January 3, the Supreme Court had issued a three-page interim order on the case and issued notices to the legal heirs of Asghar Khan.

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.

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