Asghar Khan case: SC allows in-camera briefing

Asghar Khan case: SC allows in-camera briefing

Islamabad (Staff Report/Agencies): The Supreme Court (SC) has allowed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to give an in-camera briefing in Asghar Khan case.

A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar on Tuesday resumed the hearing of the implementation of the landmark judgment in the Asghar Khan case.

As the hearing went under way, DG FIA Bashir Memon submitted a request for an in-camera briefing. “There are some facts pertaining to the case which we want to apprise the court on separately,” Memon said.

The chief justice then approved the DG FIA’s request and remarked, “All facts should be brought before the nation, no institution is above the law.”

The Supreme Court issued a 141-page verdict on October 19, 2012, 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.

Asghar 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.

On May 7 this year, Supreme Court of Pakistan had rejected review petitions filed by former army chief Gen Mirza Aslam Beg and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) former chief Gen Asad Durrani against its 2012 verdict in Asghar Khan case , saying both officers would face consequences of their illegal acts.

The SC ruling also has implications for former PM Nawaz Sharif, who had also been accused of receiving money ahead of the 1990 general election. The court also sought a reply from the federal government regarding executing the verdict.