The Supreme Court on Monday resumed hearing of Asghar Khan case.
During hearing of the petition filed by Air Martial (retd) Asghar Khan pertaining to Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) distributing money among politicians, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry remarked that former ISI chief Lt-Gen (retd) Asad Durrani’s disbursing of funds constituted the violation of the Constitution and the violation of his oath, a private television channel reported.
A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar, has been hearing the 1996 petition filed by Khan who had accused the ISI of financing politicians in the 1990 elections by dishing out Rs140 million to create the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI) and prevent Benazir Bhutto’s PPP from winning the polls. The petition was based on an affidavit of Durrani.
During the hearing, Durrani told the bench that former president Ghulam Ishaq Khan had ordered the distribution in the greater national interest.
Upon which, the chief justice asked what he meant by the term “national interest”, adding that, the idea of national interest must not be abused.
Chief Justice Iftikhar moreover remarked as to how could the manipulation of an election to ensure the defeat of a certain political party be in the greater national interest.
The chief justice said the president should not act as a party as the head of state was the symbol of the federation. He further said that Ghulam Ishaq Khan should not have supported the IJI.
Chief Justice Iftikhar said it was the people’s authority to empower a political party, adding that, what Durrani did was unconstitutional and a violation of his oath.
Durrani said whatever was done, was done under orders from above and he was admitting to the responsibility as that was in the greater national interest.
He further said that Brig (Rtd) Hamid Saeed Akhtar also had a role in the distribution of money.
Earlier during the hearing, Secretary to President Asif Ali Zardari, Malik Asif Hayat, appeared before the bench.
Hayat said the case was old and a response would be filed over it as soon as the records were recovered.
Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja inquired of the president’s secretary as to whether a political cell was currently operating in the President House.
Upon which, Hayat said that he had no information on any political activity in the President House.
He further said that a response could be filed before the bench once complete records had been recovered.
Moreover, former bureaucrat Roedad Khan submitted his written response before the bench.
Khan, in his response, asked why his name was being dragged into an old case, adding that, he had no idea whether or not a political cell was operating in the President House.
The former bureaucrat further said that he was ready to go to Adiyala prison if it could be proven that he was aware of any political activity in the President House.
Justice Khawaja said it still needed to be determined what relation the political cell had with the President House.
Khan told the court that Durrani’s statements were not based on facts, adding that, he (Khan) had never met with Gen (retd) Mirza Aslam Beg. The hearing was adjourned till Tuesday.