ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Defence Ministry to submit its stance on a Rs40 million transfer to the General Headquarters of the Pakistan Army and disbursement of Rs30 million to an NGO run by a friend of ex-army chief Mirza Aslam Beg.

Hearing a case relating to implementation of court verdict in the Asghar Khan case, the court directed all 31 politicians, including ex-PM Nawaz Sharif and Javed Hashmi, to submit replies by June 9 (Saturday).

The top court observed that all those who were named in the case were issued notices to appear before the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for investigation and cooperate with the agency.  A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar will resume the hearing.

Advocate Aitzaz Ahsan, representing PPP leader Khurshid Shah, informed the bench that the notice was received in late hours so his client could not show up in the court. He, however, said the PPP was victim in this case.

During the hearing, the chief justice questioned if Nawaz had arrived for hearing and whether the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Javed Hashmi was present.

“Where is Nawaz Sharif? Notices were issued to him, why didn’t he appear before the court?” CJ Nisar said, adding it was a court order, people must comply with court orders.

He said that notice was sent to him. “I saw tickers running on television channels. It is also the main story of newspapers,” the chief justice observed.

The bench then directed Nawaz to appear in the court within an hour.  PML-N’s Hashmi stood with the rostrum and said that he received the notice and appeared though it was not necessary adding he came in respect of the judiciary.

He contended that the accusation against him was entirely false adding that he had submitted his undertaking before the FIA five years ago during the interrogation. He said he was given a clean chit.

The chief justice commended Hashmi for showing up in the court, saying that Hashmi is an example for other politicians.

Attorney General of Pakistan Ashtar Ausaf informed the bench that the former prime minister was present at the accountability court and was unable to attend the apex court’s hearing. He, however, said that Nawaz was engaging the counsel to represent him. During the course of hearing, the chief justice also observed that whoever was accused of receiving money will appear before the court adding they were part of investigation.

He observed that ex-servicemen will also have to face trial and the case would not be delayed.  During the hearing, Aslam Beg informed the bench that government in 1996 asked the GHQ to start trial but the then COAS refused to do so.

He requested the bench to decide his fate. The chief justice told him that the government in its reply had informed this court that the GHQ would conduct the proceedings. The chief justice, however, directed him to file an application and then the court will decide whether the trial would be conducted by the FIA or a commission. The bench adjourned the case till June 12.

On October 19, 2012, the apex court had issued a 141-page verdict, ordering legal proceedings against Gen (r) Beg and Lt Gen (r) Durrani in a case filed 16 years ago by former air chief Air Marshal Asghar Khan. 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.