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Asghar Khan Case: Pak Punjab CM Shahbaz says he accepts SC ruling unconditionally

Islamabad, Oct.20 (ANI): The chief minister of Pakistan’s Punjab province, Shahbaz Sharif, on Saturday said he accepted the Supreme Court’s judgment on the Asghar Khan case without reservations.

Addressing a sports day event held at the Cadet College in Kalar Kahar, he, however, claimed that President Asif Ali Zardari had also taken Rs.500 million from the Intelligence Bureau (IB) which must be accounted for, the Dawn reports.

Earlier, Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Raja Pervez Ashraf, assured the nation that the government would act according to the law and hold transparent and independent investigation to reveal the truth in distribution of public money among politicians in 1990 elections to defeat the PPP.

Addressing a press conference at the Prime Minister’s House, he assured the nation “the government will investigate the whole affair in accordance with the true spirit of the decision of the Supreme Court and take action without any partisan and every thing will be impartial.”

He said the government would recover this money and suggested that all those politicians who got the money should tender an apology to the nation for their act.

“As chief executive of the country, I assure the nation that there will be fair trial and transparent investigation in accordance with the direction of the Supreme Court,” Raja assured.

He said the directions of the apex court regarding an inquiry were for the FIA and the government would work accordingly. The prime minister said all those involved in distribution and receiving of the money should be punished, as it was dishonesty with the whole nation.

He said those who were involved in the distribution of money in 1990 election to defeat the PPP had stolen the mandate of the people.

“Our Quaid, Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, always said people were deceived and their mandate was stolen, which has been proved true today with the decision of the Supreme Court,” the Express Tribune quoted him, as saying.

The prime minister said that the PPP was always of the view that the history revealed the truth. He said the whole nation participated in the 1990 elections, but one strange thing was noticed that those who were sure of victory lost the elections, and this had remained a secret for the last 22 years. But now it has been resolved following the decision of the Supreme Court, he added.

Raja said the people voted for the PPP in 1990 but the establishment sabotaged the mandate of the people. He said the history today has vindicated the PPP and all those who distributed the money and who got it should be exposed to the nation. Replying to a question, the prime minister said the FIA would take action according to rules and regulations and disclose the findings in a transparent manner.

The prime minister said that according to an affidavit submitted before the Supreme Court no cell was presently working at the Presidency. He also said the government was committed to holding free, fair and impartial elections and did not want to snatch the democratic right of the people, as it has been a victim of this crime itself.

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC), while announcing the short order in the Asghar Khan case, had declared the petition of the retired Air Marshal maintainable while it ordered the government to take action against former Army chief Aslam Beg and former ISI chief Asad Durrani Friday, Geo News reported.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry resumed hearing the petition filed by Air Marshal (retd) Asghar Khan in 1996, accusing the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) of distributing money among politicians to manipulate the general elections of 1990.

According to the order, if there are political cells in the intelligence agencies or the presidency, they should be abolished. The court stated that Aslam Beg, Asad Durrani and others illegally favoured the election cell which was an individual act. The military cannot take part in politics but the army chief and DG ISI participated in the illegal activity.

The election cell was set up in 1990 in the Presidency which was an attempt to influence the elections. If the president does not fulfill his oath, then it comes under the violation of the Constitution. (ANI with inputs)