FIA recommends SC to close Asghar Khan case

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Saturday recommended the Supreme Court to close the case filed by the late air chief Air Marshal Asghar Khan. The FIA submitted a report in the SC today which stated that there is "not enough evidence to continue investigating" the case. “There are contradictions in the statements of the witnesses,” the report said. Furthermore, the report stated that the case is more than 25 years old and no record of bank transactions could be found. "Politicians who were accused of taking money have also denied the allegations," it further read. A day earlier, the apex court announced that it will hear on December 31 (Monday) the case of the former air chief pertaining to the distribution of Rs 140 million among political parties ahead of the 1990 general elections. The case On October 19, 2012, the Supreme Court issued a 141-page verdict, ordering legal proceedings against Gen (retd) Aslam Beg and Lt Gen (retd) Asad Durrani in a case filed 16 years ago by former air chief Air Marshal Asghar Khan. Khan, who passed away in January this year, was represented in the Supreme Court by renowned lawyer Salman Akram Raja. Khan had petitioned the Supreme Court in 1996 alleging that the two senior army officers and the then-president Ghulam Ishaq Khan had doled out Rs140 million among several politicians ahead of the 1990 polls to ensure Benazir Bhutto's defeat in the polls. The Islamic Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI), consisting of nine parties including the Pakistan Muslim League, National Peoples Party and Jamaat-e-Islami, had won the 1990 elections, with Nawaz Sharif being elected prime minister. The alliance had been formed to oppose the Benazir Bhutto-led Pakistan Peoples Party. In 1996, Khan had written a letter to the then Supreme Court Chief Justice Nasim Hassan Shah naming Beg, Durrani and Younis Habib, the ex-Habib Bank Sindh chief and owner of Mehran Bank, about the unlawful disbursement of public money and its misuse for political purposes. The 2012 apex court judgment, authored by the then-Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Chaudhry, had directed the Federal Investigation Agency to initiate a transparent investigation and subsequent trial if sufficient evidence is found against the former army officers.

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