ISLAMABAD: To meeting the constitutional requirement, election schedule has to be announced latest by this week and according to informed sources, the programme would be announced any day of this week. Similarly, the name for caretaker prime minister has to be announced this week.
A number of dignitaries are under consideration for this responsible portfolio but three names Ishtiaq Ahmed Khan, Abdullah Hussain haroon and Dr. Maleeha Lodhi are taken as favorite.
FIA’s Director Punjab Dr Usman Anwer had also been investigating the case in the past. Earlier this month, Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar had given the federal government a week’s time to summon a cabinet meeting and decide what action should be taken in light of the 2012 judgement of Supreme Court in Asghar Khan Case.
The court had ordered this after it rejected the review petition of Beg and Durrani in the case that was pending for years. On October 19, 2012, the apex court had given the verdict ordering legal proceedings against Beg and Durrani in a petition filed in 1996 by former air chief Air Marshal Asghar Khan.
The court had also ordered FIA to investigate the allegations fresh and thoroughly. Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and some other politicians could also face implications of the case as they were the alleged beneficiaries ofthe distributed money. The petition alleged that the two senior army officers and the then president Ghulam Ishaq Khan had doled out Rs140 million among several politicians ahead of the general election. The Islamic Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI), consisting of nine parties, including Pakistan Muslim League and Jamaat-e-Islami, had won the 1990 election. In a recent report submitted, FIA had told the Supreme Court that Beg and Durrani would be summoned soon to finalise the enquiry in the case. FIA had started investigation in the case after 2012 verdict of apex court but the inquiry remained pending since recently chief justice passed the order in this connection.
According to FIA submitted before EC, all the alleged beneficiaries of money earlier questioned by the FIA have denied taking the money. In the past, FIA had recorded the statements of 18 people, including former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, former Governor Punjab Ghulam Mustafa Khar and two senior politicians, including Makhdoom Javed Hashmi and Abida Hussain.
Asghar Khan case In 1996, retired Air Marshal Asghar Khan had filed a human rights petition in the Supreme Court of Pakistan, accusing the ISI of doling out money to a group of politicians in the 1990s.
The case was initiated by the air marshal after Benazir Bhutto’s interior minister, retired Gen Naseerullah Babar, had disclosed in the National Assembly in 1994 how the ISI had disbursed funds to purchase the loyalty of politicians and public figures so as to manipulate the 1990 elections, form the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI), and affect the defeat of the PPP.