No record of political cell in Presidency, SC told

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The Supreme Court (SC) was informed that there was no record found about the operations of any political cell in the Presidency, as details of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) accounts were submitted with the court on Thursday.
The three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry resumed the hearing of Asghar Khan case accusing the ISI of financing politicians to manipulate the general elections of 1990 and creating the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI) to prevent the PPP from winning the polls.
The Ministry of Defence submitted the details of the ISI accounts following court’s directives, while former Military Intelligence (MI) officer Brigadier (r) Hamid Saeed also submitted his statement.
Justice Khawaja remarked that nothing was particularly revealed about the distribution of Rs 80 million in the accounts presented. Ministry of Defence Director Legal Shahbaz said Rs 30 million were to be given to former army chief Aslam Baig’s organisation, Friends, in 1990. However, General Asif Nawaz Janjua objected over it, so the money was not distributed.
He said investigations were carried out in the past but their outcome was unknown.
President Asif Ali Zardari’s Military Secretary Brigadier Muhammad Amir also submitted a report before the court stating that there was no record found on the presence of a political cell in the President’s House.
Former MI head Brigadier (r) Hamid Saeed submitted a written response before the court, saying he was heading the Sindh unit of the MI in 1990. Former ISI chief Assad Durrani had alleged that Saeed had disbursed money to politicians.
The former MI chief presented a 21-year-old diary before the bench, stating that it had each and every detail of all accounts. However, he prayed the court to keep the first eight paragraphs of the diary classified.
Saeed prayed to the court to make all details part of the investigation, otherwise the entire exercise would be futile. The chief justice assured him that the court, for the moment, would keep the first eight paragraphs classified. The CJ remarked that he could submit the confidential sections separately.
The attorney general also presented the details of the accounts of the ISI and told the court that the details were confidential and could not be made public.
However, the CJ said the details were already on record.
Justice Jawwad S Khawaja said Asad Durrani had claimed that the entire money was not distributed among politicians and the remaining money was present in the ISI accounts, but the required information was not provided.
Akram Sheikh, counsel for Gen (r) Aslam Beg, prayed the court to issue orders for introducing reforms in the armed forces. He said the ISI should be brought under the discipline of the army and notification for keeping it under chief executive should be annulled.
The chief justice said, “It is not our job. Aslam Beg remained army chief from 1988 to 1991. Aslam Beg could have told president Ishaq he would not become party in the distribution of money. He should have resisted before president Ishaq. It was only your client who could bring any change.”
The court later adjourned the hearing until today (Friday).

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