SC sets February 29 for Asghar Khan case hearing

Air Marshal (r) Asghar KhanISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has set February 29 as the date for initiation of proceedings in a case filed by Air Marshal (r) Asghar Khan in 1996 following a statement of former interior minister Naseerullah Babar in parliament alleging that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) had dished out Rs 140 million to the political opponents of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in the 1990 general elections.

Initial proceedings of the case began in 1996 when Justice Sajjad Ali Shah was chief justice. General Aslam Baig, the army chief at the time, had said in a reply to the Supreme Court that former president Ghulam Ishaq Khan had set up an election cell at the Presidency under the supervision of Rodad Khan and Ajlal Haider during the 1990 general elections. He had said the ISI had, on instructions from the election cell, given away Rs 140 million to opponents of the PPP. He said it was a usual thing for the ISI to extend help to its favoured politicians in elections and its approval was granted by the chief executive of the government. Former ISI chief Lt General (r) Asad Durrani had stated in his affidavit said that the money was distributed among politicians on the directives of General (r) Baig.

According to Lt Gen (r) Durrani, the money was distributed as below:Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif got Rs 3.5 million; Mir Afzal Khan got Rs 10 million; Lt Gen Rafaqat got Rs 5.6 million for distribution among journalists; Abida Hussain received Rs 1 million; Jamaat-e-Islami got Rs 5 million; Altaf Hussain Qureshi received Rs 500,000; Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi got Rs 5 million; Jam Sadiq got Rs 5 million; Muhammad Khan Junejo received Rs 250,000; Pir Pagara got Rs 2 million; Maulana Salahuddin received Rs 300,000; Humayun Marri got Rs 1.5 million and various small groups in Sindh received Rs 5.4 million in total. – PT