Ex-ISI chief affirms political funding in 1990s polls (Lead)

March 9th, 2012 - 4:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry Islamabad, March 9 (IANS) Former director general of Pakistan’s spy agency Inter-State Intelligence (ISI) Asad Durrani Friday affirmed before the Supreme Court that ex-chief of military intelligence was involved in funding several politicians during the 1990 elections, and confirmed former banker Younus Habib’s statement in this regard.

Durrani’s statements came after Habib, who headed the now defunct Mehran Bank, submitted to the court Thursday that the then president Ghulam Ishaq Khan, ex-army chief Aslam Beg and the ISI were involved in financing several politicians during the 1990 polls, the Dawn News reported.

A three-judge Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, is hearing the case in which ISI has been accused of financing several politicians during the elections to create the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI) and prevent the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) from winning.

The bench has taken up for hearing the 1996 petition of Tehrik-i-Istiqlal chief Air Martial (retd.) Asghar Khan who accused the ISI of financing many politicians during the 1990 elections in a bid to prevent the PPP from returning to power. The ISI allegedly dished out Rs.140 million for the purpose.

The petition was based on ormer ISI chief Asad Durrani’s affidavit.

On Friday, Durrani said he was the ISI chief at that time when money was distributed among the politicians on the directives of the then army chief, the Geo News reported.

Many officers were deputed to execute the task, he added.

Durrani further told the bench that he knew the decision had been taken by the election cell inside in the President House.

He said there was no political cell in the ISI. However, a few officials were involved in political activities.

Later, the court directed Durrani to submit written reply to the court and adjourned the hearing till March 14.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s former army chief General (retd.) Aslam Beg Friday rejected former banker Habib’s statement that he was forced to arrange for Rs.340 million to be paid out “in supreme national interest”, terming it as mere allegations.

Beg said that Habib’s statement was an attempt to malign him and the then president of Pakistan Ghulam Ishaq Khan, who is now dead.

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