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FIA recommends SC to close Asghar Khan case for lack of evidence

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has recommended the apex court to close the infamous Asghar Khan case, saying that it has not enough evidence to proceed against the accused in the case.

The agency submitted a report to the top court which is set to take up the case on Monday.

The agency said that it does not have enough evidence for a criminal investigation into the case.

The report also said that the witnesses’ statements do not corroborate with each other and many politicians refused to record their written statements.

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The report said the politicians who were accused of taking money also refuted the allegations. The Agency said the case is more than 25 years old and no record of bank transactions could be found.

A day earlier, the apex court announced that it will hear on December 31 (Monday) the case of the former air chief pertaining to the distribution of Rs 140 million among political parties ahead of the 1990 general elections.

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 (SC) by renowned lawyer Salman Akram Raja.

Khan had moved the Supreme Court in 1996 alleging that the two senior army officers and 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.

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The Islamic Jamhoori Ittihad (IJI), consisting of nine parties, including the Pakistan Muslim League, National Peoples Party and Jamaat-e-Islami, had won the 1990 elections, with Nawaz Sharif being elected prime minister. The alliance had been formed to oppose the Benazir Bhutto-led PPP.

In 1996, Khan had written a letter to the then Supreme Court chief justice Nasim Hassan Shah naming Beg, Durrani and Younis Habib, the ex-Habib Bank Sindh chief and owner of Mehran Bank, about the unlawful disbursement of public money and its misuse for political purposes.

The FIA had launched its investigation into the case at the end of 2013, almost a year after the Supreme Court ordered an investigation into the distribution of Rs140 million to thwart the PPP.

On August 11 of this year, the Supreme Court asked the FIA to submit a progress report in the case. It had issued notices to the respondents, including former premier Nawaz Sharif.

On June 9, Nawaz and JI head Sirajul Haq submitted their written replies in the case. Rejecting the allegations that his party received Rs3.5 million from the ISI in 1990, Nawaz said he did not receive any money from the agency to run the election campaign.