Former army chief Gen Aslam Beg and former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lt Gen Asad Durrani on Wednesday appeared before a Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) committee tasked with the implementation of the Asghar Khan case verdict.
Sources in the FIA said that the two former generals — the main characters in the 1990 election rigging controversy — were quizzed over their involvement in the distribution of money to politicians.
The case had resurfaced recently when a Supreme Court bench expressed dissatisfaction at the lack of progress considering the apex court had in 2012 ordered action against both military officials as well as the politicians who received money from them.
In a 2012 order, the federal government had been directed to take action — within the bounds of the 1973 Constitution and the law — against Beg and Durrani for their role in ‘facilitating’ a group of politicians and political parties in the 1990 elections.
Asghar Khan case
In 1996, retired Air Marshal Asghar Khan had filed a human rights petition in the Supreme Court of Pakistan, accusing the ISI of doling out money to a group of politicians in the 1990s.
The case was initiated by the air marshal after Benazir Bhutto’s interior minister, retired Gen Naseerullah Babar, had disclosed in the National Assembly in 1994 how the ISI had disbursed funds to purchase the loyalty of politicians and public figures so as to manipulate the 1990 elections, form the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI), and affect the defeat of the PPP.
Close to 16 years after the petition was filed, the Supreme Court — in a judgement penned by then chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry — had ruled that the 1990 general 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.
The court had, however, thrown the ball back to the then PPP government by directing it to take necessary action under the Constitution and law against Beg and Durrani for their role in rigging the 1990 elections.