ISLAMABAD - Army’s Court of Inquiry has decided to summon civilians as witnesses against retired military officials allegedly involved in dishing out millions of rupees to politicians including deposed Premier Nawaz Sharif to buy loyalty for manipulating 1990s general elections against Pakistan People Party.

The defence ministry revealed this in its report submitted before the Supreme Court which has been hearing the case regarding implementation of its 2012 judgment in famous Asghar Khan case.

“All material witnesses including civilians would be examined by the Court of Inquiry, accordingly,” MoD stated in its report.

It said that the proceeding before the military court in Asghar Khan Case is in progress and three prosecution witnesses have been examined while efforts were in hand to trace and call other witnesses as well.

The report added that all-out efforts were being made to finalise the proceedings expeditiously.

Meanwhile, a two-judge bench headed by Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed in its two-page written order observed that the report in the case filed by Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) is unclear.

There is a reference of ‘cover accounts’ but it is not clear from the record of the banks that who was operating those accounts, the top court observed.

Secondly, there is also a complaint that some record has not been made available to the FIA, more particularly, of the banks concerned.

The top court ruled: “Another effort in this behalf be made, otherwise the list of the banks which are failing to make available the relevant record be provided.”

Thirdly, it said, it had been noticed that certain private individuals, who were required to appear before the FIA and give

 

 

 information, were not cooperating with the agency.

“Let another effort be made and a report in this behalf be submitted within 10 days,” the top court ruled, and adjourned the hearing till April 22.

On April 2, Justice Saeed, while hearing the case, had resolved that the top court will not close the matter.

In 1996, Air Marshal Ashgar Khan (late) had filed a human rights application in the top court, accusing the intelligence agency of doling out money to a number of parties and individuals in the 1990s.

He moved the application after late prime minister Benazir Bhutto’s interior minister General (Retd) Naseerullah Babar disclosed in the National Assembly in 1994 that ISI had disbursed funds to buy loyalty of politicians and public figures to manipulate the 1990 elections to bring about the defeat of PPP

The top court in its 2012 judgment ruled that the 1990 elections had been polluted by dishing out Rs140 million to a particular group of politicians only to deprive the people of being represented by their chosen representatives.

It had ordered the FIA to initiate proceedings against the politicians including deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who was allegedly facilitated by military establishment with Rs140 million to block PPP’s victory in the 1990 general elections.