Withdrawal of secret funds : IB reply fails to satisfy SC
03 January, 2013
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday expressed dissatisfaction over the reply submitted by the Intelligence Bureau over withdrawal of secret IB funds between 1988-1990 and 2008-2009 for political purposes.
On the other hand, the court has observed that the assertions made in the letter by former IB director general Shoaib Suddle, prima facie, confirm the allegations by petitioner Asad Kharal. In view of the contents of Suddle's report, the court has summoned former IB DG Tariq A Lodhi on the next hearing. Directing the incumbent IB chief, Akhtar Gorchani, to file a fresh reply, the court said: "He (DG IB) should keep in mind that he is the incumbent DG, therefore, he has access to the record and he should not conceal anything from the court.
He may also keep in mind that if the amount as alleged by Asad Kharal, reporter of an English daily, was withdrawn for toppling of Punjab government in 2009 is not correct, at least he should disclose that what was the other object of withdrawal of this huge amount and details of its expenditures as at least record must have been maintained that to whom the amount was distributed."
The court noted that prima facie, it could be inferred that the amount was withdrawn and there should be no reason for the incumbent DG to conceal the facts from the court. "We expect full cooperation from him, being a responsible officer and head of one of the most important intelligence organisations of the country." Earlier, SC Registrar Dr Faqir Hussain sent a sealed envelope that contained Dr Suddle's reply. The envelope was opened in the court. After examining it, the bench resealed it and ordered the office to keep in safe custody.
Meanwhile, the finance secretary has also been directed to trace the record on the basis of which sanction was made for withdrawal of amount referred to in the earlier orders, with details of transferring the same to the account of IB as well as communication for such withdrawal must be with the Finance Department, through some treasury/bank. A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, was hearing the utilisation of Rs 270 million allegedly drawn by the PPP government from the secret fund of the IB to allegedly topple the Punjab government in 2008-09.
The court observed that it would be appreciated and kept secret, if object and purpose of spending huge tax payer amount is also disclosed and if the reply seems satisfactory then the direction shall be issued to Tariq A Lodhi, former IB DG, for his personal appearance to testify on the basis of record and in such situation, if he appears and confirms the fact at that time, the incumbent IB DG has to face some embarrassment. It is noteworthy that Tariq Lodhi, who held the charge for two months, in his earlier reply had not denied the withdrawal of the amount except stating that it was not for toppling of the Punjab government.