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ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) have welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision to resume hearing of the Asghar Khan case.

Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry said that the constitution of a Supreme Court bench on this case was a good omen.

In a tweet, he said that Prime Minis­ter Imran Khan had already directed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to implement the directive of the Supreme Court on the case. He said that the case had exposed the political character of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). He said that it was ironic that the political heirs of Benazir Bhutto were now allies of the PML-N.

Meanwhile, PPP leader Saeed Ghani accused the prime minister of influencing the Federal Investigation Agency, saying that Mr Khan did not want a decisive conclusion of the case. He said that many dubious characters would be exposed in the case, who were involved in conspiracies against Benazir Bhutto’s government, adding that the current cabinet comprised several remnants of those characters with the same ideology.

Mr Ghani said that the interview of Abdul Sattar Edhi should also be made part of the inquiry in which he had claimed that General Hameed Gul and Imran Khan were blackmailing him to become a part of the conspiracy to topple Benazir Bhutto’s government. He said that retired General Aslam Beg, retired Lt Gen Asad Durrani, Brigadier Imtiaz and Major Amir should also be brought to justice.

The apex court will resume hearing of the case regarding implementation of its 2012 verdict on Monday (February 11). On Jan 11, then chief justice Mian Saqib Nisar — after accepting the plea of the family of the late Air Marshal Asghar Khan — had ordered fixing of the matter before a bench after his retirement.

A three-member bench of the apex court, comprising of Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Faisal Arab and Justice Ijazul Ahsan, will take up the case.

In 1996, Asghar Khan had moved the Supreme Court of Pakistan, alleging that two senior army officers and then-president Ghulam Ishaq Khan had distributed Rs140 million among several politicians ahead of the 1990 polls to ensure Benazir Bhutto’s defeat in the polls. On Oct 19, 2012, the apex court had issued a 141-page verdict, ordering legal proceedings against retired Gen Aslam Beg and retired Lt Gen Asad Durrani.

Published in Dawn, February 10th, 2019