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National

October 16, 2015
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Many characters of Asghar Khan case already dead

National

October 16, 2015

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LAHORE: The historic Asghar Case has again come in the limelight after some break at a juncture when the plaintiff, who happens to be the country’s first native Air Force Commander-in-Chief, is due to turn 95 on January 17, 2016, former Army Chief General (R) Aslam Beg has already celebrated his 84th birthday on August 2015 and when a good number of main characters including former President Ghulam Ishaq Khan, former Premier Benazir Bhutto, former Interior Minister Major General (R) Naseerullah Babar and a key witness Abdul Hafeez Pirzada have already left for their eternal abodes.
Some other personalities, also alleged to have been the beneficiaries of Younis Habib’s largesse, include two former caretaker Pakistani Premiers Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi and Malik Meraj Khalid, former PMs Muhammad Khan Junejo, a former Chief Minister Jam Sadiq Ali, a former President Farooq Leghari and the late Pir Sahib Pagara etc are no more in this world now.
Some 19 years ago in 1996, Air Marshal (R) Asghar Khan had written a letter to the then Chief Justice Supreme Court of Pakistan Nasim Hassan Shah (also deceased) against former Army chief, General Mirza Aslam Beg, former ISI chief Lieutenant General Asad Durrani and Younis Habib, the ex-Habib Bank Sindh Chief and owner of Mehran Bank, about the unlawful disbursement of public money and its misuse for political purposes.
It is imperative to note that it was on the basis of Asghar Khan’s petition that Lieutenant General (R) Asad Durrani had taken a stand in the Supreme Court and had provided an affidavit that the Army high-ups between 1990 and 1993 had indeed distributed Rs 40 million with the alleged support of then Pakistani head of state Ghulam Ishaq Khan to anti-PPP politicians only a few months before the October 1990 general election to prevent the re-election of Benazir Bhutto regime and to destabilise her government. Interestingly, Younis Habib had also dished out money to Pakistan People’s Party politicians.


Newspaper archives reveal that in 1995, the Mehran Bank was amalgamated with the state-owned National Bank of Pakistan (NBP).In 1996, the NBP had to make full provision for Mehran Bank’s liabilities, which had consequently cost it Rs 1.260 billion.
On April 20, 1994, giving details about the payments made by Younis Habib to generals, politicians and political parties, late Benazir Bhutto’s Interior Minister General Naseerullah Babar had revealed on the National Assembly floor that that former Army chief General Mirza Aslam Beg had received Rs140 million from him.
Younis Habib was arrested on April 7, 1994 for misappropriation in the sale proceeds of the Dollar Bearer Certificates. On December 14, 1995, Habib was convicted of fraud and embezzlement and given a sentence of 10 years rigorous imprisonment by the Special Court for Offences in Banks in Sindh. In 2012, Younis Habib had appeared before the Supreme Court of Pakistan and between then and October 15, the Asghar Khan Case had remained shelved for unknown reasons.

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