On Friday In Islamabad, Pakistan’s top court ordered to inquiry against former army and intelligence chiefs for their involvement in rigging in the 1990 parliamentary elections and distributing money among politicians.
The Supreme Court was moved nearly 16 years ago by a senior political leader to investigate the involvement of the then security establishment and distribution of money among certain political parties to block victory of Pakistan People’s Party.
The apex court ruled that the Army chief, Aslam Beg, and intelligence chief, Asad Durrani were involved in the rigging of the elections of 1990. A former banker, Younas Habib, was accused of arranging money for politicians.
A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, instructed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to initiate action against all those involved.
Former Air Chief and Air Marshal (Retd), Muhammad Asghar Khan, who led Tehrik-e-Istiql(Movement for Independence) party had in his petition said that Pakistan’s top intelligence agency ISI had financed many politicians in the 1990 elections by dishing out Rs.140 million to create the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad or Islamic Democratic Alliance and stop Benazir Bhutto’s PPP (Pakistan People’s Party) from coming to power.
“Late Ghulam Ishaq Khan, the then President of Pakistan, General (R) Aslam Baig and General (R) Asad Durrani acted in violation of the Constitution by facilitating a group of politicians and political parties, etc., to ensure their success against the rival candidates in the general election of 1990, for which they secured funds from Mr. Younas Habib.
The order said, “Their acts have brought a bad name to Pakistan and its Armed Forces as well as secret agencies in the eyes of the nation, therefore, notwithstanding that they may have retired from service, the Federal Government shall take necessary steps under the Constitution and Law against them”
The order stated that a political cell was operational in the President House in 1990.
The order also said, “In the instant case it has been established that in the general elections of 1990 an Election Cell was established in the Presidency to influence the elections and was aided by General (R) Mirza Aslam Baig who was the Chief of Army Staff and by General (R) Asad Durrani, the then Director General ISI and they participated in the unlawful activities of the Election Cell in violation of the responsibilities of the Army and ISI as institutions which is an act of individuals but not of institutions represented by them respectively”
The court called for legal proceedings against the politicians, who allegedly have received donations to spend on election campaigns in the general election of 1990, therefore, transparent investigation on the criminal side shall be initiated by the FIA against all of them and if sufficient evidence is collected, they shall be sent up to face the trial, according to law.
The Supreme Court observed that the ISI or Military Intelligence may perform their duties as per the laws to safeguard the borders of Pakistan or to provide civil aid to the federal government, but such organizations have no role to play in the political activities/politics, for formulation or destabilization of political governments, nor can they facilitate or show favour to a political party or group of political parties or politicians individually, in any manner, which may lead to his or their success.