Provided Rs 1.48 bln to military to back PPP opponents: Banker

Provided Rs 1.48 bln to military to back PPP opponents: Banker

A former banker today told Pakistan's Supreme Court that he had in 1990 provided the military Rs 1.48 billion, from which funds were distributed to politicians like Nawaz Sharif who were then part of the army-backed Islami Jamhoori Ittehad.

Former Mehran Bank chief Yunus Habib, who was brought to court in a wheelchair, made the revelation while deposing before a three-judge bench led by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry.

The bench was hearing a petition against the funding of politicians by the Inter-Services Intelligence.

The petition was filed in 1996 by former air force chief Asghar Khan and the court recently resumed hearing the case after a gap of 12 years.
Several persons linked to the case, like former President Ghulam Ishaq Khan and Maj Gen
Naseerullah Babar, have died.

In his testimony, Habib said then army chief Gen Mirza Aslam Beg had arranged his meeting with then President Khan in March 1990, and the two men had sought funds from him in the name of national interests. He contended he had no option but to obey the President's orders.

Habib said he provided a total of Rs 1.48 billion, from which Rs 340 million to Rs 400 millionwas distributed among politicians by officials of spy agencies and other persons.

Emerging from the courtroom, Habib told reporters that Rs 20 billion was paid to Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain and Rs 2.5 million to PML-N leader Shahbaz Sharif, currently the Chief Minister of Punjab. The ailing Habib, who spoke with difficulty, said he had personally paid Rs 3.5 million to PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif.

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