LAHORE - Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Punjab chapter, on Thursday issued notices again to the senior politicians who were reluctant to join inquiry in connection with the Asghar Khan case, well placed sources in the Ministry of Interior told The Nation.

They said the notices were issued to former federal minister Syeda Abida Hussain, Javed Hashmi, former Punjab governor Mustafa Khar and others.

Earlier, the first notices were served on these politicians and senior journalist Altaf Hsaan Qureshi, asking them to join inquiry on Thursday, but nobody except Qureshi complied with the notice.

Sources said Altaf joined the probe and got his statement recoded, denying his involvement in the case. An FIA officer, seeking anonymity, said if these politicians did not join the inquiry after having received three notices, the FIA director would submit his report to the director general. A legal expert said if they did not join the inquiry process, it would mean they had nothing to say in their defence. Sources in the FIA said the inquiry had been pending with FIA since long, but it was delayed and mishandled for the sole reason that Director Qudratullah Marwat who had been made the inquiry team chairman had the least interest in it.

The government has decided to restart investigation into the Asghar Khan case. The FIA has formed a new team to complete the probe into the allegations that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) had distributed millions of rupees among the politicians to rig the general elections in 1990. Former ISI DG Asad Durrani will submit his statement through the Ministry of Defence.

Official sources in the Interior Ministry and the FIA told The Nation that FIA Director General Akbar Khan Hoti had recently formed a new joint investigation team (JIT) under the supervision of Additional Director General Khalid Qureshi while FIA Punjab Director Dr Usman Anwer and some other senior directors are its members.

The JIT, formed on the directions of the Interior Ministry, has been tasked to finalise the inquiry. Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, during a meeting, grilled the FIA high-ups for delaying investigations into various mega scandals and asked them to expedite work on the cases involving some big fish in various organisations. He asked the agency to especially focus on TDAP, EOBI, ETPB, PSO, PIA (Boeing purchase), Pemra (recruitment), Hajj scandal and other corruption cases.  

Air Marshal (r) Asghar Khan, the petitioner in the case, had alleged the country’ premier intelligence agency, ISI, had distributed Rs 140 million among politicians in the 1990 elections to form Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI) and prevent PPP’s Benazir Bhutto from winning the polls.