ISLAMABAD - The Federal Investigation Agency on Wednesday informed the Supreme Court that the request to provide information regarding the whereabouts of five former army officers involved in the distribution of money to buy loyalties of politicians to manipulate the 1990 general election was pending with the Ministry of Defence.

A three-page progress report submitted by Director General FIA Bashir Memon in the Asghar Khan case pertaining to the opening of floodgate of money by military to buy loyalties of politicians and public figures to manipulate the 1990 elections to inflict defeat on the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) stated that it had no latest information of the five officers and therefore assistance of the defence ministry had been sought.

According to the FIA report, Brig (Retd) Amanullah Khan was OC 304 Survey MI in 1990, Lt Col (Retd) Eqbal Saeed Khan was OC 408 Intel Battalion Rawalpindi in 1990, Lt Col (Retd) Ejaz was posted in Intel Set-up in 1990, Lt Col (Retd) Mir Akbar Ali Khan was at MI HQ Directorate at GHQ in 1990 and Lt Col (Retd) Salman Butt was posted in Intel Set-up in Rawalpindi/ Lahore in 1990.

The report stated: “the request by FIA to provide information regarding the whereabouts of the five army officers is pending with the defence ministry.”

In response, the FIA stated, the secretary Ministry of Defence had asked the FIA to furnish Army Number & Arms of these officers as it was not possible for them to identify these officers without this information.

The report stated that this information was not available with FIA either and it had requested the ministry again to identify officers on the basis of record and provide their current whereabouts.

The FIA stated that Lt Col Eqbal Saeed, CO-408 Intel Rawalpindi was responsible for distribution of funds in Punjab as per the 2nd supplementary statement of ex-DG ISI Asad Durrani. “He is presently settled in the United States and response to the request regarding his whereabouts from the secretary defence is still awaited,” it added

The FIA further stated that Lt Col Salman Butt was also responsible for distribution of funds in Punjab as per the statement of ex DG ISI Durrani. “FIA contacted Butt on his cell number because his address was not available and he was introduced that the Agency wants to interview him, he hung up the phone by saying “FIA is knocking at the wrong door,” the report added.

According to the report, Lt Col Akbar Khan maintained record at the Military Intelligence (MI) Headquarters as per findings. “Whereabouts requested from Secretary Defence and the response is awaited,” it added.

It said that Brig Amanullah Khan, 304 Survey Quetta, was responsible for distribution of funds in Balochistan and whereabouts requested from the secretary defence and the response is awaited.

Ex-COAS Aslam Beg denied conveying any instructions of presidency or GHQ and he maintained that ex-DG ISI Durrani was directly in touch with the Presidency. “General Asad Durrani , DG MI/ISI admitted having disbursed the money but said that it was under instructions from President’s Election Cell ( Ijlal Haider Zaidi & Roedad Khan) and that Army High Command (COAS) was on board,” the FIA stated in its report.

In the 3rd statement while responding to the hand-written disbursement notes (copies) provided by Brig Hamid Saeed Akhtar (Co-202 Survey Karachi), he (Durrani) remarked that as DG ISI he must have transmitted them onwards to MI HQ, GHQ as operation was being handled by MI of which he was the head prior to elections.”

Regarding the politicians, the FIA stated that statement of deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif was recorded in 2015, Jamat-e-Islami (JI) statement through Farid Paracha also recorded. It added that statements of Syeda Abida Hussain, Ghulam Mustafa Khar, Altaf Hussain Qureshi, Javed Hashmi, Muzaffar Hussain Shah, Ghulam Ali, Arbab Ghulam Rahim were recorded in 2014.

In 2018, the statements of Jam Haider, Muttahida Qaumi Movement Haqiqi’s (MQM-H) Afaq Ahmed and Mir Zafarullah Jamali were recorded.

Recording of statements of Hamayun Marri, Hasil Bazinjo, Liaquat Jatoi, Jam Yousaf, Sarwar Khan Kakar and Kadir Baloch are pending, according to the report. The report stated that 11 politicians and one journalist involved in the matter had died. 

Muhammad Younas Habib in his statement made in the top court had said that he had embezzled over Rs1.5 billion as fake-loans on the directions of Presidency’s Election Cell and handed over only Rs140.75 million through cash withdrawal to ‘Secret Funds’ for the elections.

The FIA also submitted the analysis of 15 HBL Accounts and further 6 cover accounts. It stated that Rs148 crore taken as fake HBL loans/ parked in 15 HBL Accounts in Karachi.

Out of these, 10 per cent which makes Rs14.075 deposited in 6 cover accounts for disbursing the same to politicians, Kashmir Fund and for External Operations.

Rs7 crore paid to Jam Sadiq, Rs1.5 Crore paid to Pir Pagara, Rs7 crore to Yousaf Memon and Rs120 crore, approximately 80 per cent, were mis-appropriated by Younas Habib, the FIA report further stated.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Ijazul Ahsan took the matter of implementation of top court’s 2012 judgment regarding Asghar Khan Case.

The chief justice asked regarding the progress of the inquiry. To this, the bench was informed that the cabinet had decided that matter regarding former COAS and DG ISI to be decided by the military.

The Ministry of Defence Director Legal Falak Naz informed the bench that interior division had not forwarded the case as directed by the cabinet. He further contended that the progress report would be furnished, adding the issue was lengthy so it required time.

The chief justice observed that everything was mentioned in the top court’s 2012 judgment and it was finalised, adding only implementation was to be executed.

He warned that the court would summon army officers if no progress will be made. He remarked that no one was immune to appear before the court.

“Both (FIA and MoD) keep in mind that implementation has to be executed on the judgment of top court’s earlier judgment (regarding Asghar Khan Case),” chief justice made clear.

Later, the top court ruled that the defence ministry will provide all the requisite information required by the FIA. Ruling that needful be done, the top court adjourned the hearing till four weeks.