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Court seeks replies from sitting, ex-IB chiefs

The Supreme Court of Pakistan.—AFP Photo

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court sought replies on Wednesday from the incumbent and former directors general of the Intelligence Bureau on withdrawal of huge amounts of money from IB’s accounts by the PPP governments to buy loyalty of politicians in Punjab and other provinces in 1988-1990 and 2008-09.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed had taken notice of a report which appeared in an English daily on March 14, alleging that Rs270 million had been withdrawn by the PPP government to dislodge the Punjab government in 2008-09.

Asad Kharral, a reporter of the newspaper appeared before the court and alleged that the plot could not succeed because of PML-Q’s insistence to install its chief minister in Punjab.

He also claimed that in addition to Rs270m, Rs360m had been withdrawn by the PPP government in 1988-1990 to remove the governments in the then NWFP and other provinces.

While deciding the Asghar Khan case the apex court had ordered to de-link the case of doling out Rs270m in 2008-09 from the accounts of the IB to topple the Punjab government and issued notices to the publishers, printers and reporter of the English daily which had carried the news item.

The court ordered that notices be issued to IB chief Akhtar Hussain Gorchani to submit parawise comments on the allegations levelled in the news report and directed former IB bosses Masood Sharif Khattak and Tariq Lodhi to consider filing their replies on the assertions.

The news item was headlined “Govt withdrew millions from Intelligence Bureau’s accounts”.

The reporter also read out his reports which were published on March 14-15, revealing that the PPP government had also used IB’s secret fund for political purposes in different periods.

He said that former DG of IB Dr Shoaib Suddle confirmed that the money had been withdrawn from IB’s secret fund, adding that when he brought the matter to the notice of former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani he kept quiet for political reasons.

Attorney General Irfan Qadir said that the alleged money had been withdrawn in two different periods and, therefore, two separate replies should be sought.

The court rejected PML-N lawyer Ashraf Gujjar’s request to fix his petition about the misuse of fund by the PPP government against its opponents in the past, along with this case.

The SC registrar was asked to send a copy of this order to incumbent DG of IB.

The hearing was adjourned for two weeks.