SC orders legal action against 
former chiefs of army and ISI

ISLAMABAD — In a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court on Friday ruled that the 1990 elections were rigged and directed that action be taken against top former army and intelligence officials and prominent politicians involved in manipulating the outcome.

By Afzal Khan

Published: Sun 21 Oct 2012, 12:12 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 1:20 PM

A three-judge bench presided over by Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry delivered the judgment on a longstanding petition filed by Air Marshal Asghar Khan in 1996 over the money distributed among politicians by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to block Benazir Bhutto and her PPP from regaining power. It was done at the behest of the then president Ghulam Ishaq Khan and army chief Mirza Aslam Beg.

The court directed the government to take action against former army chief Mirza Aslam Beg and the ISI’s former director-general Lt-Gen. (retd) Asad Durrani. In his statement before the court, Gen. Durrani had revealed that he had distributed Rs140 million among many politicians to create an anti-PPP alliance, the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI), in order in order to stop Benazir Bhutto’s PPP from coming to power.

The court, in its short order, ruled that there was ample evidence to suggest that the 1990 elections were 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 Ishaq, Beg and Durrani violated the constitution.

Stating that corruption was carried out in the 1990 election, the ruling said that the president, the army chief and the ISI’s director-general were not authorised to constitute an election cell. It added that the state should implement its authority through the elected representatives of the people.

The apex court further ruled that political cells of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and President House should be abolished and ordered the government to take legal action against the retired generals who were involved in corruption as well as against Younus Habib, former president of the now-defunct Mehran Bank.

The court further ordered that money that was illegally disbursed among the politicians by the then president and the ISI should be recovered and deposited in the Habib Bank along with the accumulated interest on it. Adding to that, the short order said that legal action should also be taken against the politicians who received the money.

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