Asghar case lands leaders in hot water

November 19, 2012 - 5:35:10 am

LAHORE: While the opposition Pakistan Muslim League-N of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif alleges the government has ‘virtually dropped’ its plan to launch an investigation into the Asghar Khan case after moving the court for a review, a leader of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party of President Asif Zardari has claimed that the two parties have reached an ‘understanding’ and decided to challenge the Supreme Court’s decision for their ‘mutual benefit’.

The verdict in the Asghar Khan case had landed the leaders of both the parties in hot water, he said.

PPP chief Asif Zardari faces a dilemma whether to continue with his political activities as the country’s president, while PML-N’s Sharif and his brother Shahbaz are facing charges of receiving money from the ISI to stop the PPP from coming to power in the 1990 elections.

“The PPP did not consult us before going for a review. In fact the PPP is doing so to save its own skin. The party is perturbed over the implication of the verdict on the President’s political activities and also it does not want a probe into withdrawal of Rs270m from the secret fund of the Intelligence Bureau to topple Shahbaz’ Punjab government in 2009,” PML-N Senator Pervaiz Rashid said.

He said PPP believed that the Federal Investigations Agency would not be able to establish anything against the PML-N leadership in the Asghar Khan case and seeking a review meant it had almost dropped the idea of handing the case to the agency.

“The PPP’s decision to move the court against the decision in fact vindicates us,” Rashid said, speculating the People’s Party might have reached ‘some understanding’ with Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehrik Insaf as its leader Javed Hashmi was facing ‘banking transaction evidence’   of receiving money in the case.

A Punjab PPP leader, however, said that his party and PML-N had reached an understanding that none of them would benefit at the end of the day if an inquiry was initiated against some generals and politicians on the directive of the Supreme Court. “The PML-N knows the implications of FIA’s probe which the PPP may start, but someone else (interim set-up) would conclude. By the time the court decides about the review petition in the Asghar Khan case, the tenure of the PPP-led government may be nearing completion,” he said.