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ISI admits giving millions to leaders

ISI admits giving millions to leaders

Author: Omer Farooq Khan
Publication: The Times of India
Date: August 28, 2009

Introduction: According to a retired Pakistani chief justice, ISI admitted in an affidativ bribing leading politicians, including former PM Nawaz Sharif, in 1988 to cobble together an alliance against Benazir Bhutto's PPP

Pakistan's all-powerful spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence, had pumped millions of rupees and bribed the country's leading politicians, including former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, to cobble together an alliance against Benazir Bhutto's party in 1988.

Pakistan's former chief justice Saeed-uz-Zaman Siddiqui made this revelation in an interview with a local TV channel. "ISI gave millions of rupees to politicians during former president Ghulam Ishaq Khan's regime,'' justice Siddiqui said, quoting former ISI chief Lt General Asad Durrani's affidavit before the apex court on July 24, 1994.

The spy agency gave money to the politicians to join Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI), an alliance of seven political parties, including right-wing Jammat-i-Islami and Sharif's Muslim League. Sharif headed the alliance.

In his affidavit, Lt-Gen (retd) Durrani said the alliance had the then army chief General Mirza Aslam Beg's blessings. "General Beg had directed ISI to provide logistic support to the alliance,'' said Siddiqui. The ISI was asked to facilitate the transfer of money that a Karachi-based businessman provided.

The ISI had opened some fictitious bank accounts in Karachi, Quetta and Rawalpindi for one Younus Habib to deposit Rs 140 million. Some of the amount was transferred to the accounts in Quetta and Rawalpindi and the rest to a special fund.

Benazir had returned from exile to contest the polls after dictator Zia-ul-Haq's death in an air crash. Despite ISI machinations, Benazir emerged as a winner with 92 seats in the National Assembly, against IJI's 53. Ironically, Benazir's father Zulfikhar Ali Bhutto had created ISI's political wing to destabilise his opponents.

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