CJP directs federal cabinet to decide in a week

Asghar Khan case

Islamabad

Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar gave the federal government on Tuesday a week’s time to summon a cabinet meeting to determine what action to take in light of the 2012 Asghar Khan case verdict.
The attorney general (AG) and head of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) appeared before the Supreme Court today over the implementation, or lack thereof, of the apex court’s verdict in the case filed by the late former air chief, Asghar Khan.
As the hearing went under way, Chief Justice Saqib Nisar remarked that the court has given its order in the case and rejected review petitions of former army chief General Mirza Aslam Beg and former Inter-Services Intelligence DG Lieutenant General Asad Durrani, accused of illegally influencing the 1990 elections.
Now, the implementation of the verdict remains, the chief justice asserted.
“To-date the federal government did not do anything,” he regretted, adding that the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) probe after the verdict also ceased after a certain point.
The chief justice directed the federal government to implement the court’s earlier verdict and decide what action has to be taken against the accused in the case.
Chief Justice Nisar observed that it is the government’s job to determine in which court former army officers are to be tried.
He remarked that the federal government had decided to initiate a treason trial against former president and army chief General Pervez Musharraf.
Appearing before the court, the attorney general (AG) said the FIA will now record statements of the former generals.
However, the AG contended that the treason trial will commence after the FIA investigation.
Salman Akram Raja, who represented the late petitioner in the case, argued that the retired generals will face action whereas investigations will be held against the others.
Lawyers reprimanded for discussing cases on TV the hearing, the chief justice also admonished lawyers, including Raja, for commenting on ongoing court cases on television, terming it contempt of court.
After Raja apologised, the chief justice remarked that this not about one case but pertains to every counsel.
On Monday, the Supreme Court had rejected the review petitions of the former generals against the 2012 verdict.
Dismissing the review pleas, the court had issued a notice to the AG and FIA DG to inform it of the implementation of the verdict.
Moreover, the FIA has decided to summon the former generals in the case to present evidence of providing money to politicians for the 1990 elections.
The FIA is also expected to make a new committee to probe the case in light of the apex court’s orders.—INP

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