Delays in implementation of Asghar Khan case verdict will not be tolerated: CJP Nisar

  • Chief justice says he wanted to protect the Constitution and not contest elections
Pakistan

LAHORE – Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar on Tuesday remarked that delay in implementation of orders passed by the apex court in Asghar Khan case will not be tolerated.

A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar, was hearing the implementation case of the 2012 order in Asghar Khan case involving former director general (DG) Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Asad Durrani and chief of army staff (COAS) retired Gen Aslam Beg and other political leaders.

All state institutions have been ordered to ensure cooperation with the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) which had been assigned task to execute the court verdict.

The court also directed the FIA Director General (DG) Bashir Memon not to leave the post until the probe in the case is completed.

Replying to a question, the FIA informed the court that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who is accused of receiving Rs3.5 million from funds doled out to rig the 1990 elections, has submitted his statement.

Asghar Khan case: Nawaz Sharif submits reply in SC, denies receiving Rs3.5m to sabotage 1990 elections

Addressing veteran politician Javed Hashmi, who was present in the court alongside Mir Hasil Bizenjo, Abida Hussain, Mustafa Khar and others, the CJP said that he did not have the intention to contest the elections, adding that he wanted to protect the constiution.

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.

SC Order
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.