SC orders to complete inquiry against involved Pak Army officers in Asghar Khan case

ISLAMABAD: On Monday Supreme Court, while hearing the long-running case filed by late air chief marshal Asghar Khan, ordered that the inquiry against Pakistan Army officers involved in the case be completed within four weeks.

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Bench of three judge headed by Justice Gulzar Ahmed heard the case. The late air chief marshal had petitioned the apex court in 1996 alleging that two senior army officers and then-president Ghulam Ishaq Khan had doled out Rs140 million among several politicians to rig the 1990 polls against Benazir Bhutto.

Ordering that the inquiry against the Pakistan Army officers involved in the case be completed within four weeks, the top court directed that a report be presented.

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The court declared that the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) report will be reviewed along with the Defence Ministry’s reply. “We will review whether the court order was implemented or not,” the bench remarked.

During the hearing, Justice Gulzar inquired, “Why did the Ministry of Defence not initiate action for the court martial of the Pakistan Army officers involved?” In response, the attorney general said, “The matter will move forward after the inquiry is completed. Court martial can be done anytime if it is a case of fraud or loss to the national exchequer.”

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At this, Justice Ijazul Ahsan said, “28 years ago, Rs18.4 billion was spent in the Asghar Khan case.”

The head of the bench, Justice Gulzar, then remarked, “Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) founder was also given money but his name neither appeared in the case nor in the FIA report.”

However, the attorney general said, “The MQM founder’s name was mentioned in the FIA report. He is not in Pakistan and talks are under way with the British government in this regard.”

“Talks are under way for the repatriation of the MQM founder and other accused and major head way is expected soon,” the attorney general added.

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