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Islamabad

May 16, 2018

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Yousaf Memon accuses Gen Beg of sponsoring MQM

Islamabad: At a time when Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) formed a new team to record statements of two retired generals in Mehran Bank Scam (Asghar Khan case), Yousaf Memon Advocate made startling revelations about Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) which, according to him, was sponsored by the then Chief of Army Staff General Mirza Aslam Beg.

In his statement, Yousaf Memon, who is cousin of MQM Pakistan chief Farooq Sattar, claimed that he came close to Younis Habib, key character in Asghar Khan case, in 1988-89, when he was zonal chief of HBL, Karachi.

“He [Younis Habib] called me to deliver a message to Altaf Hussain from [General] Aslam Beg. I was actively involved in MQM and politics by that time as Farooq Sattar was my nephew. He said that General Aslam Beg wanted to meet Altaf Hussain,” Yousaf Memon revealed in his statement recorded by FIA which is all set to summon General (R) Aslam Beg and Lt General (R) Asad Durrani — two key accused in this case who doled out state money among politicians to pollute 1990 elections in Pakistan -- this week. The Supreme Court directed federal government to ensure implementation of the verdict of this case within a week, even though Premier Abbasi can summon cabinet meeting to decide next course of action against the accused.

Yousaf Memon, who later joined Pakistan People’s Party, further revealed, “First such meeting [between Altaf Hussain and General Beg] was arranged at central avenue DHA [Karachi]. After courtesies were exchanged the discussion started on political scenario and it was discussed that then prime minister Benazir Bhutto was not running government property. In this regard they had planned a no-confidence motion against Benazir Bhutto government in National Assembly. It was decided that Younis Habib would provide funds for Altaf Hussain/MOM for their support in vote of no confidence. Altaf Hussain said that he needed transportation for his party. In this regard 20 Mehran vehicles and 1 Cultus were bought for MQM.”

Afterwards second meeting was held at another house after 15-20 days, Yousaf Memon told FIA investigator. “During this meeting it was decided as to which steps would be taken once no confidence motion was successful. It was I who had brought Nawaz Sharif from Punjab House for the meeting. A final agreement was also signed. In order to keep a proof of this, Altaf Hussain had got the ceremony photographed and kept the two rolls with him. During this meeting asking prime minister Benazir Bhutto to get a vote of confidence was also discussed. President Ghulam lshaq Khan was contacted and it was decided that no confidence motion would be the option chosen. It was I who had typed the text of no confidence motion,” Yousaf Memon continued to reveal.

Yousaf Memon, on directions of General Durrani, is accused of distribution Rs70 million among politicians. Yousaf Memon further told FIA that “MNAs present there signed the document and it was introduced in lower house of Parliament. A lot of horse trading was done but eventually the motion was defeated. During this whole process, Nawaz Sharif got wiser and he had realised that if the government did eventually fall, it would be Mustafa Jataoi who would become the prime minister and not he.” He further got recorded in his statement that during this process Altaf Hussain became jittery and tried to contact President lshaq Khan on telephone but the President did not talk to him and Colonel Ajaib, secretary to President, said that the President was asleep. After this General Beg was contacted who advised Altaf Hussain to leave Pakistan and stay in UK, where his stay would be made comfortable. “We were taken in British Airways fight and Saleem Wahidi travelled with us as our escort. He was in 1" class and we were in club class but he also sat with us for some time during the flight. Afterwards immigration was done in UK and a Pakistani High Commission vehicle (Mercedes 500 SEL) was there to receive us.”

Yousaf Memon further revealed that they stayed in hotels and it was decided that they must agitate against the Pakistani government and it was suggested that they should either contact Saarc countries or OIC countries. It was upon this issue that differences arose between MQM leadership and him as leadership was in contact with India and therefore, he left UK.

“I returned and I was directed to mark my attendance," daily in Nine Zero, the MOM HQ till Altaf Hussain returns. On August 22, Altaf Hussain returned and told that date he complied with the orders given to him. It was during this period that MOM (Haqeeqi) was created. He said that he fought elections against MOM and lost. Later on he joined Pakistan People's Party. He had best of relations with Younis Habib since that time and Rafiq Moon was their common friend he had a working relationship for distribution of funds 1989-90. “I knew during this time that these funds would be used during elections and I was also getting benefit from this activity as I was getting close to General Beg.”

Yousaf Memon further said in his statement, “I knew at that time because of my law background that army chief could not enter political activity as per the constitution of Pakistan. I knew about existence of article 6 and its implications as I was a lawyer. I knew that army chief was indulging in political activities. I knew that I was becoming part of the activity and that it was unconstitutional. I also knew the consequences. My motivation was politics and not financial. I was getting close to leadership of the country and I expected this relationship to benefit me in later years as I could have become member of Senate etc. After assembly was dissolved, money started flowing through various accounts. Whenever money was put into some bank account I used to visit Islamabad and used to hand over the receipts to General Beg. My motivation was politics and not monetary as I have already mentioned.”

He further revealed, “I was tasked to give money to Javed Hashmi. In the first step I invested Rs187 lacs with him in Cotton Ginning industry. It was my personal money. Later on, a meeting was arranged with Javed Hashmi, once General Beg and Nawaz Sharif had fallen apart over "doctrine of strategic defiance." Army wanted to have a pressure group in the National Assembly. I met General Beg and Younis Habib who gave me a task to take over Javed Hashmi. During this meeting Javed Hashmi also asked for making of a house as he needed to have a place with proper "drawing room" for getting people together and also asked for making funds available for alluring the politicians. Rs149 lacs were given to him for the purpose. He took this information to Shahbaz Sharif who took him to Nawaz Sharif. Upon getting the whole information, prime minister confronted General Aslam Beg.”

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