Abb Takk News

FIA Seeks SC Assistance in Asghar Khan Case

The  Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has sought the help and guidance of the apex court in collecting sufficient evidence in the case concerning the manipulation of the 1990 elections and the implementation of the Supreme Court’s landmark 2012 verdict on it.

The report submitted states that the FIA had tried to “unearth the facts and bring truth to light, but the investigation has reached a dead end”.

The apex court will resume hearing a case regarding the implementation of the 2012 verdict on Monday, February 11.

On Jan 11, , then chief justice Mian Saqib Nisar, after accepting the plea of the family of the late Air Marshal Asghar Khan, had ordered fixing of the matter before a bench after his retirement.

A three-member bench of the apex court, consisting of Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Faisal Arab and Justice Ijazul Ahsan, will take up the case on Feb 11.

On Dec 29, 2018, the FIA had suggested to the SC that it close the implementation on case since it did not have enough evidence to launch a criminal prosecution against individuals named in the judgement.

In an earlier hearing, the court had decided that it was not satisfied with the conclusions reached by the FIA and asked the agency to submit a response to Khan’s family’s joint reply in which they opposed the suggestion to close the case.

In its report submitted today, the FIA said they had left “no stone unturned in tracing evidence relating to the disbursement of alleged money to politicians”.

They said all important witnesses, including central figure retired Brig Hamid Saeed Akhtar, had been examined.

Bank records were scrutinised while statements of the concerned bank officers were also recorded. Politicians were also interviewed, the FIA has said.

As per the FIA report, the assistance of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra), the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and Ministry of Defence had also been sought. The report stated that over 190 television programmes were analysed and the defence ministry had been contacted to provide information regarding details required to find necessary evidence.

However, the investigation could not reach a logical conclusion as no Army officer gave any statement of handing over money to any private person directly.

It added that documents provided by retired Brig Hamid Saeed Akhtar showed that money was distributed in Sindh, but he had not disclosed the names of officers who actually distributed the money. Receipts of the money being received by politicians, which the brigadier had mentioned, were also not provided to the FIA.

As per the report, Brig Hamid said the receipts were sent to General Headquarters (GHQ), but when FIA asked retd Gen Asad Durrani, he denied having any information of such receipts.

The FIA added that despite the FIA writing to the defence ministry about the whereabouts of certain intelligence agency personnel, the intelligence agency team responsible for the distribution of funds in Punjab and elsewhere could not be ascertained.

Additionally, the FIA said that certain bank account details, which would complete the money trail needed for prosecution, had not been provided.

The report added that since the Army and intelligence officers were the “primarily responsible” for the distribution of money to private individuals and politicians, splitting the investigation into two parts — namely the Army and civil — would create “practical difficulties” for the civilian agency during the investigation.