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October 20, 2012

PPP main beneficiary of Younis Habib’s largesse

 
October 20, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Though Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf has said after Friday’s historic verdict of the Supreme Court that the PPP stands vindicated, the timeline of eight major events in which the taxpayers’ money was paid to politicians and political parties by Younis Habib or his bank on the instructions of the army, ISI and Presidency’s media cell,shows the PPP itself was the biggest beneficiary which received almost 80 percent of the total funds.
The prime minister has announced that the FIA will conduct impartial and independent investigations and that the apex court’s historic judgment will be implemented in letter and spirit. However, it remains to be seen whether the FIA, having its ninth chief in four-and-an-a-half years and known to operate as a puppet of political rulers by following their winks and wishes, will really conduct a transparent probe and will be able to question the PPP leaders who had been the beneficiary of this corruption.
The Friday’s judgment declares in categorical words that the president will “violate the Constitution” if he is found supporting or aiding a specific political party or group. A part of the court’s short order reads, “Thus, holder of office of President of Pakistan, violates the Constitution, if he fails to treat all manner of people equally and without favouring any set, according to law, and as such, creates/provides an occasion which may lead to an action against him under the Constitution and the Law. 4. The President of Pakistan, Chief of Army Staff, DG ISI or their subordinates certainly are not supposed to create an Election Cell or to support a political party/group of political parties, because if they do so, the citizens would fail to elect their representatives in an honest, fair and free process of election, and their actions would negate the constitutional mandate on the subject.”
Though the PM claims the PPP stands vindicated, the first major question will be whether the

incumbent president, who is the chief of political party PPP and regularly operates the party from the Presidency, will give up all this after Friday’s judgment.
Details of giving public money through Younis Habib to politicians and political parties in the last years of 80s and the first half of 90s as admitted by Younis Habib and others or as is proved from documents is given below. This timeline reveals:
- In 1988-90, Younis Habib, as one of the top executives of Habib Bank Limited (HBL), illegally waived Rs4,000 million loans on the orders of the then PPP government and the loans mostly were given to PPP men. Various lists of loans write-offs verify this and Younis Habib has once again confessed this in one of his recent TV interviews on March 12 but again twisted the facts by saying that in fact he had written off only the interest and not the principal amount. Younis Habib was not asked specific questions on this count despite the fact that this was the biggest written-off amount.
- In the 1990 elections, Younis Habib distributed money (Rs140 million) among various politicians on the direction of Pakistan Army, ISI and an election cell operating in the Presidency. This time the money was used against the PPP. According to varying statements of Younis Habib, Nawaz Sharif was given Rs3.5 million whereas Shahbaz Sharif was sent a TT of Rs2.5 million but he confused the date and in some interviews he stated that Shahbaz Sharif was given money in 1993. This was the only instance the public money available with Younis Habib was used against the PPP on the directions of the establishment.
- In 1992-93, according to Younis Habib, he spent Rs250 million to topple the Nawaz Sharif government during a long march and some other activities.
- In 1993 elections, he gave Rs50 million to top PPP leaders for election campaign. In an interview with The News, Younis Habib admitted paying huge amounts to the PPP leaders but said that he had forgotten their names. Younis said that he had all the documentary evidence in this regard, which he said is in currently in Interior Minister Rehman Malik’s possession. He said that if these documents are handed over to him, he could disclose the names of all the recipients of the money. In 1994, Younis Habib gave an interview saying he had given Rs50 million to Benazir Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari but he now insists he doesn’t remember having given this interview.
- In 1993 elections, Younis Habib allegedly distributed various amounts to religious party leaders (he used the term Maulvis) to cut Nawaz Sharif’s votes, again to support the PPP but he doesn’t remember the exact amount.
- In 1993, he distributed money for the presidential elections of PPP’s candidate Farooq Leghari. It includes purchasing of barren land of Razi Farm in DG Khan at a very high price.
- In 1993-94, Younis Habib gave a huge amount of money to the PPP to topple PML-N’s Sabir Shah government in the NWFP (now Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa). He admitted on record in his recent interviews that he gave Rs110 million to the PPP but he was unaware of the purpose of money being taken from him at that time.
When Mehran Bank was fined (for various reasons) Rs230 million by the State Bank, the PPP government gave the money to Mehran Bank. This was just at the time of collapse of the Mehran Bank. This was only the second instance where public money was not used for the benefit of the PPP; rather PPP being in government itself used the public money to support Younis Habib’s bank though later Habib’s relations with the PPP strained for a short period but later both patched up.

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