SC seeks progress report in Asghar Khan case

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Friday directed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to submit a report, detailing the progress so far made in the implementation of its ruling in the Asghar Khan case.

Headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, a three-judge bench of the top court directed the FIA to submit the report within six weeks.

FIA Director General Bashir Memon informed the bench that over a dozen people were issued notices, however, they couldn’t make it to the court owing to the closure of roads.

When asked about the progress so far made in a probe into the case and submission of a charge-sheet, he said a high-powered committee has been set up for the purpose.

Veteran politician Javed Hashmi, who was in attendance in court, complained that since FIA had acquitted him in all cases yet he had been summoned.

CJP Nisar said the court has sought a report from the FIA, and that it didn’t summon him. He restrained the FIA from issuing him notice again.

During the hearing, PTI leader Liaquat Jatoi also denied being part of the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad, an anti-PPP alliance formed to defeat the party in the 1990 polls.

The bench instructed the FIA to inform it if there were evidences to corroborate charges against these two politicians.

Air Marshal (retd) Asghar Khan wrote a letter to the then chief justice of Pakistan Nasim Hassan Shah in 1996, in which he alleged that the then president Ghulam Ishaq Khan, then army chief General Mirza Aslam Beg, then ISI director general Lt Gen Asad Durrani as well as then owner of now defunct Mehran Bank Younis Habib had distributed Rs 140 million among several politicians to manipulate the 1990 polls to defeat Benazir Bhutto.

After the passage of more than a decade following the matter having brought to the apex court, it gave a 141-page landmark verdict on October 19, 2012 declaring that 1990 elections were rigged.

It ordered the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to investigate the matter and if evidence was found against anyone, action should be taken against them.

The court held that there was sufficient evidence to suggest that the 1990 election was rigged and that a political cell maintained by the then president Ghulam Ishaq Khan at Presidency supported formation of the IJI to stop a victory of the PPP.

It found Ghulam Ishaq Khan, Baig and Durrani guilty of violating the constitution.