Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar remarked on Tuesday that former president Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf should show how brave he is by returning to the country as the obstacles in his path have been removed.
A three-member bench of the apex court’s Lahore Registry, headed by Chief Justice Nisar, resumed the hearing of the Asghar Khan case, where he passed the remarks.
Over the issue pertaining to trials being faced by former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf, the top judge said: “We have removed the hurdles in way of Pervez Musharraf to return to the country. Now, it all depends on Musharraf’s courage if he returns to the country or not. The investigation will be held as per law.”
During the hearing, the CJP said that he won’t tolerate further delay in the implementation of the Asghar Khan case verdict.
He ordered the authorities to complete investigation without wasting another minute.
Politicians Javed Hashmi, Mir Haasil Bizenjo, Abid Hussain along with Ghulam Mustafa Khar, Director General Federal Investigation Agency Basheer Memon and Asad Durrani appeared in court.
During the court proceedings, the CJP inquired from FIA DG if former premier Nawaz Sharif has recorded his statement in the case or not. “We have gotten Nawaz’s statement,” the DG replied.
Chief Justice Nisar also observed that people who have been summoned by FIA must appear before it. “No agency has any power within the remits of this court.” He then directed all deparments including defence ministry to cooperate with FIA.
Earlier, the FIA had sent notices to 19 politicians, including former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, to appear before the Supreme Court over the implementation of the Asghar Khan verdict.
The politicians who have been sent notices included Zafarullah Jamali, Afaq Ahmed, Syeda Abida, Javed Hashmi and Qadir Baloch.
On Monday, Pakistan People’s Party leader Rehman Malik, Imtiaz Sheikh and Younus Habib refused to appear before the Federal Investigation Agency in relation to the Asghar Khan case.
According to sources, FIA had issued summons to Rehman Malik, Younus Habib, Imtiaz Sheikh, Advocate Yousaf Memon, Jam Mashooq, and Jam Haider Afaq for appearance.
However, only Memon, Mashooq and Afaq appeared before the FIA. Sources said that Rehman Malik told FIA officials on the phone that he is trying to save himself from the media, which is why he didn’t appear in the case.
Nawaz submits reply
Last week, the Supreme Court of Pakistan had directed 31 respondents including Nawaz Sharif to submit written replies by June 9 in the Asghar Khan case. Nawaz, who failed to appear before the bench hearing the case, was allowed to be represented by a lawyer.
Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif through his counsel submitted his reply in the Asghar Khan case in the Supreme Court on Saturday.
Nawaz, in the four-page reply, stated that he never received Rs3.5 million from Lt General (retd) Asad Durrani or under his instructions from his representatives as a donation to spend on the general election campaign of 1990.
Nawaz also denied receiving an amount in the sum of Rs3.5 million and Rs2.5 million from Younus Habib or under his instructions.
The reply added that Nawaz Sharif has already recorded his statement on October 14, 2015 before the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) inquiry committee.
On October 19, 2012, the Supreme Court issued a 141-page verdict, ordering legal proceedings against Gen (retd) Aslam Beg and Lt Gen (retd) Asad Durrani in a case filed 16 years ago by former air chief Air Marshal Asghar Khan.
Khan, who passed away in January this year, was represented in the Supreme Court by renowned lawyer Salman Akram Raja.
Khan had petitioned the Supreme Court in 1996 alleging that the two senior army officers and the then-president Ghulam Ishaq Khan had doled out Rs140 million among several politicians ahead of the 1990 polls to ensure Benazir Bhutto’s defeat in the polls.
The Islamic Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI), consisting of nine parties including the Pakistan Muslim League, National Peoples Party and Jamaat-e-Islami, had won the 1990 elections, with Nawaz Sharif being elected prime minister. The alliance had been formed to oppose the Benazir Bhutto-led Pakistan Peoples Party.
In 1996, Khan had written a letter to the then Supreme Court Chief Justice Nasim Hassan Shah naming Beg, Durrani and Younis Habib, the ex-Habib Bank Sindh chief and owner of Mehran Bank, about the unlawful disbursement of public money and its misuse for political purposes.
The 2012 apex court judgment, authored by the then-Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Chaudhry, had directed the Federal Investigation Agency to initiate a transparent investigation and subsequent trial if sufficient evidence is found against the former army officers.
The investigation is yet to conclude.