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Old Tuesday, August 17, 2010
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Exclamation List of politicians paid millions by ISI in 1996 reappears in SC

ISLAMABAD: The names of top politicians who had allegedly taken Rs 140 million from the ISI in 1990 on the directives of the then chief of Army staff General Aslam Baig have now been resubmitted in the Supreme Court after 14 years, in a bid to strengthen the case against the 18th Amendment on the grounds that politicians were not competent to bring about changes in the Constitution.

The explosive list of top beneficiaries from both political and religious groups was first submitted in 1996 before the SC bench headed by chief justice Sajjad Ali Shah. In all these years, the case remained pending and was never decided for unknown reasons.

The list has now been resubmitted before the present SC to establish that politicians were not only corrupt but they were also not qualified to bring about changes in the 1973 Constitution because elections were always rigged by the ISI.

CJ Iftikhar Chaudhary has been under tremendous pressure from different quarters in the past to take up the 1996 case of distribution of money by the ISI on the basis of an affidavit of the then DG ISI General Asad Durrani, who wanted Benazir Bhutto to lose the elections in 1990. But now the same list has been made part of official record of proceedings on the 18th Amendment.

The names of these politicians, including Nawaz Sharif, have been reproduced in the court by Wahabul Khairi, who is one of the petitioners against this constitutional amendment in the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

The name of Abdul Hafeez Pirzada is also a part of extraordinary list of the beneficiaries. Wahabul Khairi submitted the list, along with his written reply before the SC, after he was asked by the chief justice to give his arguments in writing.

From the Nawaz Sharif camp in 1990, Ch Shujaat Hussain and Ch Pervez Elahi were also summoned by Aslam Baig and General Asad Durrani to give them money but both had refused to take funds from the ISI to contest the elections in 1990.

Talking to The News, Wahabul Khairi confirmed that he had resubmitted the names to argue that elections were always rigged in Pakistan as it was confirmed that the ISI had been quietly distributing money. Khairi said when elections were always ‘managed’ by the ISI, how could one make tall claims of real democracy in the country.

Khairi said politicians had got benefits from the 18th Amendment as Nawaz Sharif got the third time restriction on becoming the prime minister removed while the ANP got the province renamed as Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa in exchange for its support. When he was told that the name of Abdul Hafeez Pirzada was also part of the list resubmitted in the court, Khairi said he did not know about it. But then he hastened to add that he had taken all those documents from the petition of Asghar Khan. Pirzada is presently arguing against the 18th Amendment in the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

This correspondent tried to get the version of Abdul Hafeez Pirzada but his son Sattar Pirzada told The News from Karachi that he had gone to sleep and could not take the call.

Meanwhile, according to the list resubmitted before the SC bench, Nawaz Sharif was given Rs 3.5 million, Mir Afzal Khan Rs 10 million, Lt General Rafaqat 5.6 million and Rs 5 million for the media, Abida Hussain got Rs 1 million (first it was written Nadia Hassan and then corrected as Abida Hussain), Altaf Hussain Qureshi Rs 0.5m, Mustafa Sadiq and smaller groups Rs 3.3 million, Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi Rs 5 million, Jam Sadiq Rs 5 million, Mohammad Khan Junejo Rs 2.5 million, Hafeez Pirzada Rs 3 million, Pir Pagara Rs 2.5 million, Yousuf Haroon Rs 5 million, Muzaffar Hussain Shah Rs 300,000, Ali Akbar Nazamani Rs 300,000, Ghulam Ali Nazmani Rs 300,000, Arbab Ghulam Habib Rs 200,000, Jamali, Hamayun Mari Rs 1.5m, K Baloch Rs 0.5 million, Kakar Rs 1 million, Jam Yousuf Rs 0.75 million, Bizenjo Rs 0.5 million, Nadeer Mengal Rs 1 million, Pir Noon Mohammad Shah Rs 300,000, Arbab Faiz Mohammad Rs 300,000, Ismail Rahu Rs 200,000 and Syed Salahuddin of Takbeer Rs 300,000. All these payments were made by Lt Col Mir Akbar Ali Khan Rawapindi (HQ 313 survey).
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