Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan on Wednesday claimed that reopening the Asghar Khan case would help identify the much talked about "celestial beings", against whom former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and the incumbent, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, feel their party will be up against in the upcoming general elections.
Sharif, in a series of rallies held recently, has claimed that the ruling PML-N's real rivals in the upcoming polls will not be the PTI or PPP, but "hidden forces" and "celestial beings" — remarks seconded by Prime Minister Abbasi.
Despite repeated mentions in news media, however, the 'true identity' of these aforementioned beings has never been explicitly established, although Khan appears to have an idea about who they are.
During a press conference to welcome disgruntled PML-N lawmakers into the PTI today, Khan said: “If [they] want to know who these celestial beings are, then just reopen the Asghar Khan case.
“You would then know how these celestial beings took money from Mehran Bank and gave it [to them]. You would know that ‘poor’ Nawaz Sharif received Rs3.5 million.
"You would also know how much Shahbaz Sharif, Javed Hashmi received, and who the ladla (blue-eyed boy) was.”
Khan further claimed that the Asghar Khan case was never entertained by the judiciary of the time as it would have led to the disqualification of Sharif.
“Asghar Khan was a giant in Pakistan politics, but no judiciary entertained him because his lawsuit was against the ladla, who would then have been disqualified,” he said.
“These celestial beings they are talking about, they’re talking from their own experience," Khan said.
"The way they were turned from businessmen to ‘manufactured’ politicians, they think all others are like them too.”
The Asghar Khan case
In 1996, Air Marshal Khan had filed a human rights petition in the Supreme Court of Pakistan, accusing the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency of doling out money to a group of politicians in the 1990s.
The case was initiated by the air marshal after Benazir Bhutto's interior minister, retired general Naseerullah Babar, had disclosed in the National Assembly in 1994 how the ISI had disbursed funds to purchase the loyalty of politicians and public figures so as to manipulate the 1990 elections, form the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI), and bring about the defeat of the PPP.
Sixteen years after the petition was filed, the Supreme Court in its judgement — penned by then Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry — ruled that the 1990 general elections had been polluted by dishing out Rs140 million to a particular group of politicians only to deprive the people of being represented by their chosen representatives.
The court had, however, thrown the ball back to the then PPP government by directing it to take necessary action under the Constitution and law against former army chief retired Gen Aslam Beg and former director general of Inter-Services Intelligence retired Lt Gen Asad Durrani for their role in facilitating the group of politicians and political parties to ensure their success against their rivals in the 1990 elections.
In May 2017, PTI had announced its decision to file in the Supreme Court a petition seeking implementation of the already decided and famous case.
The Supreme Court this week discarded Beg and Durrani's review petitions and gave the government a week's time to call a special session of the cabinet to determine what action will be taken against the duo.