Ex-Pak Army chief terms Pak SC verdict in Asghar Khan 'ISI political cell' case 'unjust'

Islamabad, Oct. 25 (ANI): Former Army Chief General Mirza Aslam Beg has said he has been dealt injustice in the Asghar Khan case and that the list of beneficiaries provided by former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lt. General Assad Durrani was fake.

A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, had been hearing the 1996 petition filed by former Air Marshal Asghar Khan, who had accused the ISI of financing politicians in the 1990 elections by dishing out Rs 140 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 the ISI's former director general Lt-Gen (retired) Asad Durrani, reports The Express Tribune.

The apex court had ruled that the 1990 election was rigged and that a political cell maintained by the then president Ghulam Ishaq Khan supported the formation of the IJI to stop a victory of the PPP.

The ruling said Ghulam Ishaq Khan, Beg and Durrani violated the Constitution, and ordered the government to take legal action against them.

Beg alleged that the court had only looked at one side of the story and its efforts to seek further evidence had been largely blocked. He added that the court did not hear him out, nor did it allow his witnesses be presented or allow any of the other witnesses, except General (retired) Naseerullah Babar, to be cross examined.

"I do not accept this judgment ... apex court says that criminal liability has been proved - without any proof?" Beg said.

He said the money used in 1990 elections was not public money and that he has proof for that.

"I knew that this money had come and that it was given. The president knew about it - I went to him. I warned (ISI chief) Durrani," he said.

Claiming credit for shutting down the ISI's political cell, Beg said: "It has closed today, and it would not have closed if I had not exposed the matter before the Supreme Court in 1997." (ANI)