Posted by :Team Aman newsPosted date : February 28, 2015In SindhComments Off on Govt faces uphill battle in Asghar Khan case
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court is set to take up review petitions pertaining to the Asghar Khan case on March 4, as the federal government has failed to implement the court’s verdict to charge military officials who channeled millions of rupees among anti-Pakistan People Party (PPP) politicians in the 1990 general elections.
Similarly, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has also failed to investigate proceedings against politicians who received money from military officers.
Legal experts believe that the incumbent government may face a tough time before the bench next week for not implementing the court’s judgment. PPP Vice President Shafi Muhammad Chandio told The Express Tribune, that the party has urged the top court to pass a ‘coercive order’ regarding the implementation of the verdict in the Asghar Khan Case, as it had previously done in compliance with the December 16, 2009, judgment on NRO, wherein one civilian prime minister was ousted.
A three-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, will take up the review petitions on March 4, filed by the federal government, former army chief Aslam Baig and former spymaster Asad Durani against the court’s verdict.
Read: Asghar Khan case short order: Full text
The top court also said that legal proceedings should be initiated against the politicians, who allegedly received donations to spend on election campaigns in the 1990 general elections.
On June 16, 1996, Asghar Khan wrote a letter to former chief justice of Pakistan Sajjad Ali Shah, which contained names of politicians who had received money.
The names mentioned in the list included Nawaz Sharif, who received Rs3.5 million; Mir Afzal Khan, who received Rs10 million; Lt General Rafaqat, who was paid Rs5.6 million for distributing funds among journalists; Abida Hussain, whow as paid Rs1 million; Jamat-e-Islami who was paid Rs5 million and Altaf Hussain Qureshi who was paid Rs500,000. In Sindh, Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi received Rs5 million; Jam Sadiq got Rs5 million; Muhammad Khan Junejo was paid Rs250,000; Pir Pagara was paid Rs2 million; Maulana Salahuddin got Rs300,000 and other small groups in Sindh got Rs5.4 million. In Balochistan, Humayun Marri received Rs1.5 million. The letter also contained the names of Bezenjo and Kakar tribes.
Read: Asghar Khan case: SC verdict is unjust, says Aslam Beg
Later, Aslam Baig through his counsel, Advocate Ali Zafar, moved a review petition against the court’s judgment. Talking to The Express Tribune, the counsel has contended that the verdict is in violation of Article 10-a of the Constitution. He added that the court had ordered for action to be taken against his client without any investigation
In his review petition, the former army chief has questioned the principle that “no one is to follow any unlawful orders” and argued; “if this legal proposition is allowed to be worded in such a vague manner then this will lead to mayhem in the armed forces of Pakistan and the bureaucracy. The government will not be able to run and there will be anarchy. An army officer is bound to obey the orders of his superior and must act on the assumption that the command by his senior is lawful even at the risk of losing his life. It is not possible for an army officer to start asking his superior officer to explain the legality of the command”.
Advocate Dr Khalid Ranjha, who was also the counsel for Asad Durani in this case, has said that the former spymaster had filed a review petition against the judgment through another counsel.
The PPP-led government had also filed review petition against the court’s remarks against the role of the president in the Asghar Khan case judgment. The bench will also take up the government’s review as well.
Read: Asghar Khan case verdict: PPP MPAs protest against non-implementation
The decision had ruled that the individual holding the president’s post would violate the Constitution if he or she failed to treat all people equally and without favouring anyone in particular.
The federal government in its review plea had stated that the office of the president is a political office and emphasised that the president is eligible for re-election under Article 44 and hence, he must maintain a rapport with the people and the media. It then concluded that the president cannot be aloof from political activity and cannot function unless he engages with all political stakeholders in the country.