Pak ISI involved in activities outside mandate: SC

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - 23:14

Islamabad: Pakistan`s Supreme Court Chief
Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry on Wednesday hauled up the country`s
intelligence agencies for involvement in activities that were
not part of their mandate.

Chaudhry made the remarks as a three-judge bench resumed
hearing a petition filed by former air force chief Asghar Khan
against the funding of politicians by the powerful
Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI to rig the 1990 general

The Chief Justice asked former ISI chief Asad Durrani if
he admitted to distributing funds to the politicians.
Durrani replied that he was the head of the intelligence
agency at the time but had not involved others in the
distribution of money.

Chaudhry then observed that intelligence agencies were
involved in activities that are beyond their mandate.

The Chief Justice read out a newspaper report which
alleged that Rs 270 million was withdrawn from the
Intelligence Bureau`s secret fund to change the government in
Punjab province in 2009, and remarked that this was not part
of the work of the intelligence agency.

Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, a member of the bench,
referred to intelligence agencies and remarked that some
people think they alone knew how Pakistan should be run.

The Chief Justice further remarked that national
interests were very important and no compromise could be made
on them but this did not mean that the agencies could exceed
their mandate.

The bench asked Attorney General Anwar-ul-Haq to help the
Supreme Court to end the political role of intelligence

The judges asked Haq to tell the court how the political
role of intelligence agencies had been ended in other

During the hearing, the Attorney General told the bench
that he had reviewed statements recorded in the past by former
ISI chief Durrani, former army chief Gen Mirza Aslam Beg and
late Interior Minister Naseerullah Babar regarding the
distribution of funds among politicians in 1990 and found
nothing that should be kept secret.

The bench also took up a request for forming a commission
for recovering the funds distributed among the politicians and
issued notices seeking the views of the respondents.
The court subsequently adjourned the case till March 30.

The Chief Justice has repeatedly criticised the
intelligence agencies while hearing several cases related to
the detention of people without charge and the distribution of
funds among politicians by the ISI.

Such criticism of the powerful intelligence agencies by a
state institution is rare in Pakistan.
The apex court recently forced the ISI and Military
Intelligence to produce seven men who were detained for over
18 months on charges of involvement in terrorism even after
they had been acquitted by an anti-terrorism court.

The Supreme Court recently resumed hearing 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 was 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.


First Published: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - 23:14
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