ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday once again directed the attorney general to produce before the court the copy of the notification regarding the establishment of a political cell in the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and adjourned the case for four weeks.
A three-member bench of the apex court comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Jawwad S Khwaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain heard a petition filed by Air Marshal (retd) Asghar Khan some 16 years ago against the distribution of millions of rupees of public money by the ISI among the anti-PPP politicians to manipulate the 1990 elections.
In compliance with the court’s earlier order, former DG ISI Asad Durrani produced before the court a sealed envelope and documents containing names of the people who got money from the ISI. The former DG ISI, however, requested the court not to make public the names of these people, at which the CJ asked him why. He asked him if he had any other documents apart from giving the names on a plain paper.
Durrani, however, contended he had no other documents but submitted that officers who had distributed the money among the people in Karachi and Quetta should be asked for more evidence.
The chief justice, while appreciating Durrani for his plain statement, observed that if evidence was not provided in a transparent manner, the court could face problems while proceeding with the case.Attorney General Irfan Qadir, while appearing before the court, said he could not find at his office the notification pertaining to the formation of a political cell in the ISI. He contended that the new defence secretary had taken charge and progress was expected in the matter soon.
Salman Akram Raja, counsel for Asghar Khan, said the formation of a political cell in the ISI was decided at a high-level meeting in 1975, and it was possible that a formal notification was not issued in this regard. The counsel, however, said: “Durrani has already confessed in his written statement that money was indeed distributed among the politicians.” The court returned the list to Durrani and asked him to keep it till the decision of the court in the case.