Islamabad: After completing a treason probe against former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan`s Federal Investigation Agency has a new job to probe the distribution of money among politicians by the ISI for rigging the 1990 general election.
The government, acting on an order issued by the Supreme Court last year, has formed a four-member FIA committee to investigate the distribution of money by intelligence agencies.
The committee will have to collect evidence against then army chief Gen (retired) Mirza Aslam Beg and former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lt Gen (retired) Asad Durrani for their alleged role in funding a group of politicians to ensure the Pakistan People`s Party`s defeat in 1990.
The FIA team headed by Additional Director General Muhammad Ghalib Bandesha will question persons named in the order issued by the Supreme Court in response to the petition filed by Tehrik-e-Istaqlal chief Air Marshal (retired) Asghar Khan, The Express Tribune reported on Tuesday.
Khan had accused the ISI of bankrolling politicians in the 1990s. His petition was based on an affidavit filed by Durrani.
The committee will question the alleged recipients of Rs 140 million distributed by intelligence officials among politicians. The team will complete its report by May 2014.
The FIA, in light of the apex court`s order, will initiate legal proceedings against the accused and try to gather sufficient evidence for their criminal trial, an unnamed member of the committee was quoted as saying by the Tribune.
Under the law, the FIA has six months to complete the
probe and submit its report to the government, which is expected to set up a tribunal to proceed further, he said.
The Supreme Court, in a judgement issued in October last year, had ruled that the then President, late Ghulam Ishaq Khan, Aslam Beg and Durrani "acted in violation of the Constitution".
In his petition filed in 1996, Asghar Khan had asked the court to look into allegations that the ISI paid Rs 140 million to politicians to create the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad and stop late Benazir Bhutto`s PPP from coming to power.
The court had ordered that the money illegally disbursed among politicians by the ISI should be recovered and deposited in Habib Bank along with accumulated interest.
The order noted that Younus Habib, then chief executive of Mehran Bank, had arranged the Rs 140 million used by the ISI to rig the polls.
A review petition filed by Aslam Beg against the verdict is pending with the apex court.
Following the FIA`s probe against Musharraf, the government recently decided to try the former dictator on charges of treason for imposing emergency and subverting the Constitution in 2007.