LAHORE – Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar expressed on Thursday anger over the government for failing to outline a policy to initiate actions against former army chief Gen (retd) Mirza Aslam Beg and former Inter-Services Intelligence director general Lieutenant General (retd) Asad Durrani in the wake of Asghar Khan case.
A three-member bench, headed by the chief justice and comprising Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik and Justice Gulzar Ahmed, was hearing the case. The chief justice assumed charges today morning after he reached Pakistan ending his two-week long foreign tour, was hearing the case.
CJP Nisar remarked why the federal cabinet has not decided anything regarding the implementation of the verdict, adding that the government showing less seriousness as it is an important case.
On May 8, the apex court, rejecting the petitions former army chief and ISI head against 2012 verdict in Asghar Khan case, ordered the federal government to call a cabinet meeting and determine how to execute the verdict.
On the attorney general’s request for more time, the chief justice observed, “The cabinet should hold a meeting today and take a decision. You must tell us about cabinet’s decision today only.”
On October 19, 2012, a Supreme Court bench headed by a former chief justice of Pakistan (CJP), Iftikhar Chaudhry, directed the then PPP government to take action against the former military officials for doling Rs140 million to politicians in order to ensure the defeat of slain PPP leader Benazir Bhutto in the elections.
The Federal Investigation Agency had also been tasked with investigating the matter against the politicians, including embattled Sharif, who had allegedly received the money to run election campaigns. It was also ordered to recover the distributed amount from the accused politicians with profit.
Asghar Khan Case
Filed by former air chief, Asghar Khan, the case in question is one of the most talked about cases in the judicial history of Pakistan. It also gives a glimpse about the civil-military relations and the role played by the military establishment in the political domain.
Air Marshal Asghar Khan, in his petition filed in 1996, claimed that two senior army officers and then-president Ghulam Ishaq Khan doled out Rs 140 million among few individuals to thwart the bid of Pakistan People’s Party, secure victory in the 1990 elections.
Asghar KhanThe petition was filed when Justice Nasim Hassan Shah was the Chief Justice, however, the verdict came after a span of 16 years on October 19, 2012 when the apex court issued a 141-page verdict, ordering legal proceedings against Gen (retd) Beg and Lt Gen (retd) Durrani, however, nothing substantial was done in this regard.
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.
Gen (r) Asad DurraniAsghar Khan, who passed away in January this year, was represented in the Supreme Court by renowned lawyer Salman Akram Raja.
Interestingly, the federal government had filed a review petition in 2012 when Asif Ali Zardari was the president, however, it was taken back.
Among the politicians accused of receiving money, the most noticeable is Nawaz Sharif, the former premier of Pakistan, who, according to the affidavit submitted by Asad Durrani got Rs 3.5 million.