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ISI 'funding' politicians: Probe reports can't be traced

March 30, 2012 17:28 IST

Pakistani authorities were unable to trace the reports of two commissions that investigated the funding of politicians by the Inter-Services Intelligence in 1990, the government's top law officer informed the Supreme Court on Friday.

When a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry resumed hearing on a petition filed by ex-air force chief Asghar Khan against the distribution of funds among politicians by the ISI, Attorney General Anwar-ul-Haq said the reports of two commissions that probed the issue could not be found in the Law Ministry.

The chief justice remarked that the reports were very important and need to be declassified. He directed the Attorney General to produce them in court at the next hearing on April 23.

The bench also took up a recent media report which had alleged that Rs 270 million were withdrawn from the Intelligence Bureau's secret fund to change the government in Punjab province in 2009.

Intelligence Bureau chief Aftab Sultan, who personally appeared in court, sought more time to ascertain the facts. Sultan told the bench that the register in which expenditures from the secret fund were recorded was unavailable on Friday.

Besides, he pointed out, the reasons for such expenditures are not mentioned in the register. The chief justice remarked that the Intelligence Bureau's secret fund was meant to be used for the national interest and not to weaken democracy.

He directed the spy agency chief to check the accounts for 2009 and inform the apex court if funds were spent as had been alleged in the media report.

The chief justice said the journalist who filed the report was standing by his claims while the Intelligence Bureau had not denied the accusations as yet.

 He asked the Intelligence Bureau chief to submit his response in a sealed envelope at the next hearing. The Supreme Court recently resumed hearing on Asghar Khan's petition against the funding of politicians by the ISI after a gap of over 12 years.

Banker Yunus Habib has testified in court that he arranged Rs 1.48 billion for the military, and about Rs 400 million were distributed among politicians linked to the army-backed Islami Jamhoori Ittehad in a bid to prevent the Pakistan People's Party from coming to power in the 1990 general election.

Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad
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