ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Quaid Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has decided not to appear before the Supreme Court in the famous Asghar Khan case. The decision [to not appear before the court] was taken in consultation with legal experts, sources told Geo News. Earlier this week, a three-member bench hearing the case, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Saqib Nisar, had directed 31 respondents to submit written replies to the top court by June 9. Nawaz and Javed Hashmi were among the 31 respondents. During its last hearing, the top court had also summoned Nawaz, who failed to appear before the bench.
Subsequently, the court allowed him to be represented by a lawyer.
Barrister Munawar Iqbal Duggal will represent him in the case and submit his response to the court.
Asghar Khan case: The Supreme Court issued a 141-page verdict on October 19, 2012, ordering legal proceedings against Gen (R) Aslam Beg and the ISI former DG Lt Gen (retd) Asad Durrani in a case filed 16 years ago by Asghar Khan, former Air Chief Air Marshal.
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 Ittehad (IJI), comprising nine parties including the Pakistan Muslim League, National People’s Party and Jamaat-e-Islami, had won the 1990 elections and Nawaz Sharif was elected prime minister.
In 1996, Khan wrote 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, for the unlawful disbursement of public money and its misuse for political purposes.
The 2012 apex court judgment, authored by the then Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Chaudhry, had
directed the Federal
Investigation Agency (FIA) to initiate a transparent investigation and subsequent trial if sufficient evidence was found against the former army officers. That
investigation is yet to conclude.