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Supreme Court of Pakistan
Supreme Court of Pakistan. — Photo by AFP

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Thursday heard the petition filed by Tehrik-i-Istiqlal chief Air Marshal (retd) Asghar Khan pertaining to the distribution of money among politicians by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), DawnNews reported.

A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, has been hearing the 1996 petition filed by Khan who accused the ISI of financing politicians in the 1990 elections by dishing out Rs140 million to create the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI) and prevent Benazir Bhutto’s PPP from winning the polls. The petition was based on an affidavit of former ISI chief Lt-Gen (retd) Asad Durrani.

During the hearing, Attorney General Irfan Qadir informed the bench that the notification enabling the formation of the ISI’s political cell was not available.

Khan’s counsel Salman Akram Raja failed to appear for the hearing, Raja’s Advocate-on-Record informed the court.

Raja could not appear before the bench on account of ill health, the advocate said, requesting the court to adjourn the case’s hearing.

Responding to which, Chief Justice Iftikhar remarked that the case was significant and its hearings were crucial, however, due to the counsel’s absence on account of ill health, the hearing was being adjourned.

The court, once again, summoned the report pertaining to the establishment of the ISI’s political cell and directed the federal defence and interior secretaries to submit their responses.

The hearing was subsequently adjourned to Oct 3.