Army bound to abide by constitution: CJ Iftikhar
19 October, 2012
ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry observed on Thursday that it was binding on the armed forces to adhere to the constitution just like the judges and elected government did.
The CJP said this while heading a three-member bench of the Supreme Court (SC) hearing the Asghar Khan case. Former army chief Gen (r) Mirza Aslam Beg's counsel, Akram Sheikh, prayed to the court the ISI should be taken from the chief executive's control and given to the army.
The CJP told him this was not the court's job and that Beg should have requested former president Ghulam Ishaq Khan when he was heading the army from 1988 to 1991.
During the hearing, Gen Beg said he did not subvert articles 6 or 244 of the constitution by indulging in political activities, as he took oath under Army Act 1952 that did not restrict taking part in political activities.
Sheikh told the court a fresh oath is required from such military generals who took oath under the Indian Army Act 1911, which was borrowed by Pakistan's military with slight amendments later. Justice Khilji Arif Hussain asked Beg's counsel whether he had read Article 5, which bound all citizens to be loyal to the state and constitution.
Former MI officer, Brig Hamid Saeed, appeared before the court and submitted his written statement about the 1990 operation. The president's Military Secretary Brig Amir also submitted a report, stating there was no record found regarding the presence of a political cell in the Presidency. Legal director of the Defence Ministry, Commander Shahbaz, presented a report regarding the transfer of Rs 80 million to the ISI's account.
The CJP observed it was not the record the court had sought and asked him to bring relevant information. The court adjourned the hearing until today (Friday).