Pakistani PM vows action against ex-army, intelligence chiefs over poll fraud

October 20, 2012 5:35 am 

ISLAMABAD, Oct. 20 — Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf Friday vowed action against former army and intelligence chiefs for their involvement in rigging parliamentary elections in 1990 to deprive his Pakistan Peoples Party of victory.

He made the announcement hours after the Supreme Court ordered inquiry against former Army Chief, Aslam Beg, and ex-intelligence chief, Asad Durrani for distributing money among certain political leaders and planning fraud in the elections. A former banker, Younas Habib, was also accused of arranging money for politicians.

A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, instructed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to initiate action against all those involved.

Prime Minister Ashraf said that the FIA will hold transparent investigation and action will be taken against all characters behind the fraud.

"I assure the nation that the government will hold fair and transparent inquiry, act against all those responsible to recover the money distributed among political leaders," the Prime Minister told a press conference, aired live by TV channels.

The Supreme Court was moved nearly 16 years ago by a senior political leader to investigate the involvement of the then security establishment and distribution of money among certain political parties to block the victory of Pakistan Peoples Party ( PPP).

Former Air Chief and Air Marshal (Retd.), Muhammad Asghar Khan, who led Tehrik-e-Istiqlal (Movement for Independence) party had in his petition said that Pakistan's top intelligence agency ISI had financed many politicians in the 1990 elections by dishing out 140 million rupees to create the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad or Islamic Democractic Alliance and stop Benazir Bhutto's PPP from coming to power.

The Prime Minister said those involved in the scandal should apologize to the nation for their misdeeds as they have now been exposed to the nation.

The court in its order said that late Ghulam Ishaq Khan, the then President of Pakistan, General (R) Aslam Baig and General (R) Asad Durrani acted in violation of the Constitution by facilitating a group of politicians and political parties to ensure their success against the rival candidates in the general election of 1990.

"Their acts have brought a bad name to Pakistan and its Armed Forces as well as secret agencies in the eyes of the nation, therefore, notwithstanding that they may have retired from service, the Federal Government shall take necessary steps under the Constitution and Law against them," the order said. (PNA/Xinhua)



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