Rehman Malik records statement in Asghar Khan case probe

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ISLAMABAD: Former interior minister and senior leader of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Abdul Rehman Malik appeared before investigators of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Friday to record his statement in the Asghar Khan case.

Earlier on June 11, Malik along with Imtiaz Sheikh and Younus Habib had repudiated summons to appear before the FIA in the case related to alleged manipulation of the 1990 general elections by senior military officials and political leaders.

Malik had then reportedly excused himself from appearing before the FIA team, saying that he could not appear before the security agency as he was trying to avoid the media.

During the questioning on Friday, Malik shared his knowledge of the case’s background, as well as incidents relevant to the investigation.

THE CASE:

On October 19, 2012, the apex court had issued a 141-page verdict, ordering legal proceedings against Gen (r) Beg and Lt Gen (r) 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 (SC) 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 Ittihad (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 PPP.

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 then chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, had directed the FIA to initiate a transparent investigation and subsequent trial if sufficient evidence is found against the former army officers.

The investigation is yet to conclude.