SC: Similar Looks Wanted PleaseBy Inam R Sehri • Oct 8th, 2011 • Category: Politics, Worth A Second Look • 4 Comments
Hats off to the Supreme Court of Pakistan for releasing their decision on the ‘Karachi issue’. It would take some days more to get a comprehensive analysis on this verdict in the light of deliberations made by the concerned political parties and other stake holders. In the meantime, a forgotten page of history from the record room of the same apex Court:
Late Gen Naseerullah Babar had once presented a letter from another retired Army General, Asad Durrani, former DG ISI, addressed to the then Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, confessing the distribution of ISI’s secret funds worth 140 million rupees. Later this letter was made part of the Supreme Court of Pakistan as a piece of evidence in Air Marshal Asghar Khan’s plea.
Gen Durrani was later designated as Pakistan’s Ambassador to Germany in 1994.
Here is the verbatim copy of that letter dated 7th June 1994:
“My dear Prime Minister,
A few points I could not include in my ‘confessional statement’ handed over to the Director FIA. These could be embarrassing or sensitive. (a) The recipients included Khar 2 million, Hafeez Pirzada 3 million, Sarwar Cheema 0.5 million and Mairaj Khalid 0.2 million. The last . . . . [illegible] someone’s soft corner that benefited them. (b) The remaining amount of 80 million were either deposited in the ISI’s ‘K’ fund (60 m) or given to director external intelligence for special operations (perhaps the saving grace of this disgraceful exercise. But it is delicate information.)……… .
[Noted in the margin of this paragraph by Gen Babar or Benazir Bhutto: "This is false. The amount was pocketed by Gen Aslam Beg (Friends)”]
The operation not only had the ‘blessings’ of the President (GIK) and the wholehearted participation of the caretaker PM (Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi), but was also in the knowledge of the army high command. The last mentioned will be the defence of many of us, including Gen Beg (who took his colleagues into ‘confidence’ but that is the name that we have to protect).
The point that I have ‘war-gamed’ in my mind very often is: what is the object of this exercise?
(a) If it is to target the opposition, it might be their legitimate right to take donations, especially if they come through ’secret channels’. Some embarrassment is possible, but a few millions are peanuts nowadays.
(b) If the idea is to put Gen Aslam Beg on the mat: he was merely providing ‘logistic support’ to donations made by a community ‘under instructions’ from the government and with the ‘consent’ of the military high command. In any case; I understand he is implicated in some other deals in the same case.
(c) GIK will pretend ignorance, as indeed he never involved himself directly.
(d) Of course, one has to meet the genuine ends of law. In that case let us take care of the sensitivities like special operations and possibly that of the army.
It was for these reasons that I desperately wanted to see you (the PM) before leaving. I also wanted to talk about my farewell meeting with the COAS (General Waheed Kakar). In the meantime you must have met often enough and worked out what is in the best interest of the country.
I keep praying that all these natural and man-made calamities are only to strengthen us in our resolve and not in any way reflective of our collective sins.
With best regards and respects
Yours sincerely, Asad
Filed also in the court was a note, attached to Gen Durrani’s letter written in his own hand, reading:
“YH TT Peshawar A/C Sherpao For Election 5,00,000; Anwar Saifullah for MBL deposit 15,00,000; Farooq Leghari PO Issued 1,50,00,000. Another 1,50,00,000 paid through Bank. There are a host of other political figures who received funds like Liaquat Jatoi, Imtiaz Sh etc.”
Gen Durrani’s above revealing had claimed that in September 1990, he had received instructions from the then Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Mirza Aslam Beg to provide logistic support to the election campaign of Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI). This money was ‘donated’ by Mehran Bank to the ISI or it was their secret funds, let us wait for the judgment of the apex court to surface in the media.
The matter did not end for all. Still there were hopes when a replica of Gen Naseerullah Babar’s words, spoken on National Assembly’s floor in 1994, was highlighted in the national press later. People were of the view that in the light of their own decision on ‘Corruption & Corrupt practices’, the Supreme Court would take cognizance of the facts already on record.
Reference is being made the daily ‘Dawn’ of 4th August 2002 in which Ardsher Cowasjee had shouted that:
‘……. Naseerullah Babar also filed in court a copy of a bank account sheet headed “G/L Account. Activity Report: Account 12110101 G. Baig (sic.) The column heads read “Transaction, Date, Particulars, Debit and Credit.” The numbered transactions took place between October 23, 1991, and December 12, 1993. The first transaction listed was “Cash-P.O. Karachi Bar Association A/C Gen. Baig (sic.), debit, 5,05,680″ (advocate Mirza Adil Beg, Aslam Beg’s nephew, the then president of the KBA, confirms that the KBA received the money). In January 1992 USD 20,000 was sold @ 26.50 and 5,30,000 was credited to the account. Thereafter all debits: “Arshi c/o Gen. Baig (sic.) 2,90,000; Cash paid to Gen. Sahib 2,40,000; Cash Friends 1,00,000 [ Aslam Beg’s organization, FRIENDS, Foundation for Research on National Development and Security]; Cash TT to Yamin to pay Gen. Shab 3,00,000; Cash TT to Yamin Habib 12,00,000 ; Cash Friends 1,00,000 ; Cash Friends 1,00,000 ; Cash paid through YH 10,00,000 ; Cash Friends TT to Salim Khan 2,00,000 ; Cash 1,00,000 ; Cash Towards Friends 5,00,000 ; Cash Asif Shah for Benglow 35,000 ; Cash Friends 1,00,000 ; Cash Friends 1,00,000 ; Cash TT through Yamin for Friends 1,00.000 ; Cash paid to Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim 2,00,000 [he confirms having received the money from General Beg as fees and expenses for defending him in the contempt of court charge brought against him - PLD 1993 SC310] ; Cash paid through TT to Yamin for Friends ; Cash paid to Fakhruddin G Ebrahim 1,28,640 [he confirms receipt for fees / expenses for contempt case] ; Cash Guards at 11-A 10,500 ; Cash TT for USD 240,000 Fav. Riaz Malik to City Bank (sic.) New York 68,76,000 ; Cash Friends 1,00,000; Cash Guards at 11-A 10,500 ; Cash Mjr. Kiyani 10,000; Cash mobile phone for Col. Mashadi 28,911 ; Cash TT fav. Qazi Iqbal and M Guddul 3,00,000 ; Cash Mjr. Kiyani 10,000 ; Cash TT to Peshawar 3,00,000 ; Cash deposited at Karachi A/C EC [Election Commission] 3,00,000 ; Cash Guards 24,000 ; Cash TT to Quetta 7,00,000 ; Cash mobile bill of Col. Mashadi 3,237 ; Cash TT to Peshawar Br. 4,00,000 ; Cash deposited at Karachi Br. 4,00,000 ; Cash Guards 11,520 ; Cash TT to Peshawar for EC 2,00,000 ; Cash TT to Quetta for EC 2,00,000 ; Cash Guards 5,760 ; Cash Mjr. Kiyani 5,000 ; Cash A/C Guards 8,640 ; Cash to YH 2,00,000 ; Cash A/C Guards 5,760 ; Cash TT to (an apparently unknown person named) Salim Khan 1,00,000.”
The “host of other political figures who received funds” from an ISI account were revealed in the Supreme Court when Asghar Khan’s petition was being heard. Interalia, Nawaz Sharif received (in rupees) 3.5 million, Lt General Rafaqat [GIK's Election Cell] 5.6 million, Mir Afzal 10 million, Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi 5 million, Jam Sadiq Ali 5 million, Mohammed Khan Junejo 2.5 million, Pir Pagaro 2 million, Abdul Hafeez Pirzada 3 million, Yusuf Haroon 5 million [he confirms having received this for Altaf Hussain of the MQM], Muzaffar Hussain Shah 0.3 million, Abida Hussain 1 million, Humayun Marri 5.4 million. (Source: File Records of the Supreme Court of Pakistan)
One can also add other testimonials, already available on Supreme Court’s record, in which there was a mention of payments made by Yunus Habib of Mehran Bank directly to Generals, politicians and political parties from his bank. The main beneficiary of this national booty was former Army Chief Gen Mirza Aslam Beg who had received the main amount. Besides Rs. 140 million, other names & amounts in the documents included:
‘Jam Sadiq Ali (Rs. 70 million from Habib Bank and Rs: 150 million from Mehran Bank); MQM’s Altaf Hussein (Rs. 20 million); Yusuf Memon for Ejaz-ul-Haq and Javed Hashmi (Rs. 50 million); Nawaz Sharif (Rs. 6 million); Chief Minister of Sindh Muzaffar Hussain Shah through his secretary (Rs.13 million); MQM Haqiqi (Rs. 5 million); former Sports Minister Ajmal Khan (Rs.1.4 million); Jam Mashooq Ali (Rs. 3.5 million); Liaquat Jatoi (Rs:1 million); Dost Mohammad Faizi (Rs. 1 million) and Jam Haider (Rs. 2 million) to mention some of them; all respectable politicians of today.’
My countrymen; these were the facts of 1990s but see if some of those honourable personalities or their next generation or protégé are still around you. The above details would keep your memories fresh; at least to know that who holds the reins of your future.