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FIA questions ex-army chief in Asghar Khan case

ISLAMABAD: Former army chief retired Gen Aslam Beg on Wednesday appeared before a five-member team of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to have his statement recorded in the Asghar Khan case, ARY News reported. 

Sources say the probe team questioned the erstwhile army chief with regard to creation of the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI) and distribution of money among several politicians to stop the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) from winning the 1990 elections.

Gen Beg recorded a detailed statement before the FIA, in which he confirmed that huge money was dished out to several politicians back in the 90s, according to sources.

Former ISI chief retired Gen Asad Durran is also likely to record his statement to the FIA investigation team today.

The FIA swung into action after the Supreme Court directed it to submit a report on the progress so far made to implement its verdict in the Asghar Khan case.

Last week, the FIA director general constituted a committee, headed by additional director general Ehsan Sadiq, to implement the Oct 19, 2012 verdict.

Previously, the FIA had launched a probe into the Rs140 million distribution among politicos in 2013, nearly a year after the apex court verdict.

It recorded statements of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, retired Air Marshal Asghar Khan, Gen Durrani, Mehran Bank owner Younis Habib, and others.

Air Marshal (retd) Asghar Khan wrote a letter to the then chief justice of Pakistan Nasim Hassan Shah in 1996, in which he alleged that the then president Ghulam Ishaq Khan, then army chief General Mirza Aslam Beg, then ISI director general Lt Gen Asad Durrani as well as then owner of now defunct Mehran Bank Younis Habib had distributed Rs 140 million among several politicians to manipulate the 1990 polls to defeat Benazir Bhutto.

After the passage of more than a decade following the matter having brought to the apex court, it gave a 141-page landmark verdict on October 19, 2012 declaring that 1990 elections were rigged.

It ordered the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to investigate the matter and if evidence was found against anyone, action should be taken against them.

The court held that there was sufficient evidence to suggest 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.

It found Ghulam Ishaq Khan, Baig and Durrani guilty of violating the constitution.



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