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SC takes IB to task for 'political use' of funds

29 November, 2012

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ISLAMABAD: After delivering its verdict in the Asghar Khan case, the Supreme Court has sought a reply from the Intelligence Bureau (IB) director general (DG) about a news report regarding withdrawal of secret funds of the bureau by the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) governments between 1988 to 1990 and 2008 to 2009 for political purposes.

A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, on Wednesday issued notices to IB Director General Akhtar Hussain Gorchani and two former DGs Masood Sharif Khattak and Tariq Lodhi in this regard.

Earlier, the apex court, in its detailed verdict on Asghar Khan's petition, de-linked the suo motu case about the utilisation of Rs 270 million allegedly drawn by the Pakistan People's Party government from the secret fund of the IB to topple the Punjab government in 2008-09.

It is to be noted that a news report published on March 14 in an English daily, titled 'Govt withdrew millions from Intelligence Bureau's accounts', stated Rs 270 million had been withdrawn from the accounts of the Intelligence Bureau for toppling the Punjab government in 2008-09.

During the hearing, reporter of the news Asad Kharral appeared before the bench and read his two stories, published on March 14- 15, revealing the Pakistan People's Party government had used IB's secret fund for political purposes in separate eras.

He stated former IB DG Shoaib Suddle had confirmed money was withdrawn from the IB's secret fund as he had also talked to former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani in this regard. To a court query, he said he stood by his news report and stated the IB had not yet issued any clarification in this regard.

Meanwhile, Attorney General of Pakistan Irfan Qadir appearing before the bench said the alleged amount was withdrawn in two different eras, therefore two separate replies could be sought in this regard.

The court rejected Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) lawyer Ashraf Gujjar's request to fix along with this case his petition about the misuse of funds by the PPP government against its opponents in the past. The Supreme Court registrar was also asked to send a copy of this order to the incumbent Intelligence Bureau director general. The court adjourned the hearing for two weeks.

It has been learnt the government may suggest the court for issuing notice to Shoaib Suddle regarding the case as he had confirmed that money had been withdrawn from Intelligence Bureau's secret funds. It is worth mentioning that Dr Suddle is the head of an inquiry commission probing the Dr Arsalan Iftikhar-Malik Riaz case.


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