The Pakistan government may have again sought to investigate the formation of the Inter Services Intelligence's political cell, but it would only find obfuscation and deception about the functioning of the nation's premier intelligence agency, an editorial in a Pakistan daily has said.
According to an editorial in The Express Tribune, the Supreme Court of Pakistan has started the hearing of a 16-year-old case over a petition filed by Air Marshal (retd) Asghar Khan, which sought investigation into the distribution of millions of rupees of public money by the ISI among the anti-PPP (Pakistan Peoples Party) politicians to manipulate the 1990 elections against the PPP.
Chief Justice of Pakistan, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, during the hearing on September 13 remarked that it was 'astonishing that the notification for the establishment of the ISI's political cell could not be found, while the cell had been active for decades'.
Successive apex courts have ducked the question asked in the petition because the ISI was too powerful, manned by military personnel reporting to the army chief, although legally answerable to the elected prime minister, the editorial said.
While the earlier courts had put the case on the back-burner, the present Pakistan Supreme Court has accepted the challenge of going into an embarrassing case that has withered on the bough of Pakistan's legal system because of the dominance of nation's 'informal' centres of power that scuttle the Constitution in a polarised political environment, the editorial said.
The embarrassing aspect of the case persists even today because the people who allegedly received the bribes are in denial and they are all people the Supreme Court would prefer not to cause discomfiture to, it said.
The Supreme Court is going to find it tough to get to the end of this trial due to the highly politicised judicial process in the country and the way political rivals are exploiting the bold impartiality of the Court to settle their scores, the editorial concluded