ISLAMABAD: Hearing the case filed by former air chief marshal Asghar Khan, the Supreme Court on Monday ordered to complete an inquiry against the army officers involved in the case within four weeks.

A three-judge bench headed by Justice Gulzar Ahmed heard the case.

Late air chief marshal Asghar Khan had filed a petition in the apex court in 1996. The former air chief accused two senior army officers and then-president Ghulam Ishaq Khan of allegedly distributing money against several notable politicians as part of their pre-poll rigging plan against Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto.

He accused that two senior military officers and Ghulam Ishaq Khan had doled out Rs140 million among several politicians to rig the 1990 polls against late Benazir Bhutto.
The court ordered to complete the probe against the army officers involved in the case within four weeks, and sought a report in this regard.

The court declared that the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) report will be reviewed along with the Defence Ministry’s response. “The court will review whether our order was implemented or not,” the three-member bench remarked.

During the hearing, Justice Gulzar inquired, “Why did the Ministry of Defence hesitating to take an action against the military officers involved as per military laws?” In response, the attorney general said, “The matter will move forward after the completion of inquiry and court marshal can be done anytime if we will succeed finding a proof against the military officers.”

At this, Justice Ijazul Ahsan replied: “28 years ago, nearly Rs19 billion were spent in the Asghar Khan case.”

The head of the bench, Justice Gulzar, then questioned: “Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) founder was also the beneficiary of the distributed amount but his name has not been included in the FIA report or the case.”

However, the attorney general said, “Altaf Hussains name was mentioned in the FIA report. He is not in Pakistan and talks are under way with the British government for repatriation of the MQM-L founder and other accused and major developments are expected in this way,” the attorney general added.