The legal heirs of late air chief Air Marshal Asghar Khan on Thursday pleaded with the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) to not shut the Asghar Khan case, rather it should reach a logical conclusion and the outcome should be put forth the general public.
Reportedly, the heirs submitted their response after the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) recommended to the court to close the Asghar Khan verdict implementation case citing its inability to gather evidence required to launch criminal proceedings.
The FIA, in its report submitted in the apex court, had stated that the case was more than 25 years old, and therefore relevant banks do not have the details of deposits made at the time.
The report further said that the statements of important witnesses in the case contradict each other, whereas the accused politicians denied receiving any payments.
Subsequently, it said that there were not enough evidence to restart criminal proceedings, suggesting that the case s file be closed.
The Asghar Khan case
A case was filed by the late former chief of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) retired Air Marshal Asghar Khan alleging that country’s intelligence agency had provided Rs140 million to the politicians in the 1990s to form the Islami Jamhoori Itehad (IJT) in order to prevent PPP from winning the polls of the 1990 general elections.
The case has been shrouded in complexities as many former army officers including former ISI Chief General (Retd) Aslam Baig and PM Nawaz Sharif were involved.
Hearing of the case was started in 1996 by the Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan. A detalied judgement was reached in November 2012 by 3 member bench of SC comprising then Cheif Justice Iftikhar Chaudhary, Justice Jawad S Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain.
The decision stated that action should be taken against those involved. The detailed order also stated that the late president Ghulam Ishaq Khan, former army chief General (r) Aslam Beg, and ISI ex-DG General (r) Asad Durrani, acted in violation of the Constitution by helping politicians to secure their success against their opponents in the elections of 1990 for which they received funds from Younis Habib.
In light of this decision, a team of FIA had investigated the case under the supervision of then FIA Additional Director General Galib Ali Bandesha, but the inquiry was never completed.
Investigation into the case again picked up in April 2015 with FIA Director General Akbar Khan Hoti forming a joint investigation team (JIT) under the supervision of FIA Additional Director General Khalid Qureshi including FIA Punjab Director Dr Usman Anwer and some other senior directors of FIA as members of the team.
The JIT was formed on the orders of former interior minister Nisar calling the team to finalize the case and speed up its process.