Pakistan Supreme Court sanctions prosecution of former Army and ISI chiefs

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by Daredevil, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

    Apr 5, 2009
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    Pakistanis perceive the Pakistani army to be above the law but the SC order clearly warns the military from interfering in politics.
    In an unprecedented judgement, Pakistan's Supreme Court indicted two retired Pakistan army generals for manipulating the 1990 national elections. The October 19 verdict stunned the nation which perceives the Pakistani army, both serving and retired, as being above the law.

    Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry directed the government to take action against former army chief General Mirza Aslam Beg and former ISI Chief Lt General Asad Durrani who distributed Rs.60 million among politicians. The order from the three-member bench of the apex court came after a 16-year-old petition. Air Marshal (retd) Asghar Khan filed the petition in 1996 where he accused Pakistan's powerful ISI of distributing Rs.60 million to rig the polls. Khan contested and lost the elections from Lahore.

    The judgement has sounded a warning to the Pakistan army to keep away from the general elections due in early 2013: the judges said the country's intelligence agencies had to safeguard borders not dabble in politics. The army reacted meekly. A spokesperson said the army would follow directions by the government in the Asghar Khan case.

    Former Pak Army Chief Mirza Aslam Beg stands accused of buying political influence.

    The army has been immune from prosecution. The Hamoodur Rahman Commisson of 1974, recommended the trial of army chief General Yahya Khan and ten other generals for the humiliating defeat by India in East Pakistan in 1971. The findings were never implemented. The government directed the Federal Investigation Agency to begin a probe soon after the verdict.

    Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Qaira told journalists on October 20 that the case would be probed irrespective of the suspect's political status or affiliation. Qaira said that the government would try the retired generals for high treason. Under these charges, the generals can be given the death penalty or life imprisonment. Chaudhry's landmark judgement has given the embattled PPP government an impetus to try the former generals.

    The court also ordered the federal government to initiate legal proceedings against all those politicians who allegedly received donations to spend on election campaigns in 1990. Durrani admitted before the court in 1994 that he had distributed amounts between Rs.3.5 million cash and Rs.1 million to prominent politicians like former Prime Ministers Nawaz Sharif, Muhammad Khan Junejo, Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi and Rs.5.6 million spent on journalists to influence the poll outcome.

    The 1990 electoral rigging that led to the defeat of Benazir Bhutto was Pakistan's worst kept secret. General Beg replaced General Zia as army chief after his 1988 assassination. He conspired with President Ghulam Ishaq Khan to oust Bhutto. The funds for the operation came from Younas Habib, former chief executive of Habib Bank.

    Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf vowed action against the accused. He told journalists that establishment "snatched" the 1990 elections by bankrolling politicians using funds from national exchequer. Even politicians at the receiving end of the Supreme Court ire could scarcely conceal their glee.

    Former Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, ousted by the Supreme Court, hailed the verdict because it would keep the army away from politics. "The army and intelligence agencies should not interfere in politics," he said. Political analyst Fasihur Rehman Khan believes the judgement was 'too little too late' for the PPP. The verdict certainly does not help President Asif Ali Zardari whose graft cases, Justice Chaudhry has repeatedly asked the government to reopen.

    "The PPP needs Zardari for 2013 general elections, but now he will have to play hide and seek with court and elections commission in run up to the elections," he said. Now, both Zardari and the army are running scared from a common enemy.

    Pakistan SC sanctions prosecution of former Army chief, former ISI chief
    W.G.Ewald likes this.
  3. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

    May 4, 2009
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    New Delhi
    Now the interesting part is that who is going to serve the warrants and who is going to take the case of the prosecutor.

    For the first time in 60 odd years the SC is getting a chance to flex it's muscles and they are taking full advantage of it.
  4. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

    May 29, 2009
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    No they are not, SC of Pakistan is mother of all the drama queens. In its judgement it hasn't mentioned any name of the person who took the money from ISI because the evidence wasn't able to produce any. They have asked the govt. to take action which they know it will not be able to do so, rather will refer it to army who is known to punish its own people like slapping on the wrist or even less than that. The judgment is good for nothing who think people from past will be punished but it is more focused to warn Zardari who will use his office and machinery for PPP's election campaign.

    The whole urgency is shown by SC after 10s of years of limbo of this particular case, to deny Zardari the political campaign freedom as he is the only mentor left of PPP for upcoming elections. The judgment will preclude him to run political activities or make sure he is kicked out of presidency otherwise.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2012
    sob likes this.
  5. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Apr 17, 2009
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    If anyone can dare do a sausage to the Pakistan Army or the ISI, then it will only mean that they will see the world behind the iron bars of a jail!
  6. sayareakd

    sayareakd Moderator Moderator

    Feb 17, 2009
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    nothing much will happen, eventually all of them will die.
    Btw quite strange and PA & ISI using public money to finance opposite party and influance decision in their favor, resulting i retired airforce man loosing election. Surely ISI is state within state.
    I remember, when ISI chief address the Parliament in closed door, no one asked any question since they knew that he had all their deep dark secrets in his laptop.

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