ISLAMABAD - The decision to block Benazir Bhutto’s return to power after the dismissal of her government in 1990 had been taken by then president Ghulam Ishaq Khan who regarded her as ‘not loyal’ to the country because of the information he had received from intelligence and other sources, says a former head of the Sindh chapter of the Military Intelligence, who had distributed funds to the Sindhi politicians under instructions from his then boss.
The brigadier had also submitted his statement to the Supreme Court but it had not made part of it public on the pretext that the information was ‘classified’. The brigadier said he had declassified the report, but the court still preferred not to make it public.
Asked why Benazir Bhutto was regarded as a security threat, Brig Hamid Saeed said she was opposed to Pakistan’s nuclear programme and had also appointed al-Zulfikar terrorists in state institutions like PIA, Railways and Customs. He also recalled that the army had brought Benazir Bhutto to power, but she urged it not to cross the ‘red line’ on nuclear programme.
He said there was also more evidence against Benazir, because of which it was decided at the highest level that her further stay in power was not in the country’s interest. Corruption and violation of the Constitution were some other factors which were a consideration for the decision, he said.
Answering a question, he said Benazir Bhutto had come to power with the support of then COAS Gen Mirza Aslam Beg, who had convinced then president that the PPP leader should be allowed to form government.
He said none of the leaders who were given public funds before the 1990 elections had asked any question about their source or use. He said it seemed as if everyone knew who had sent the money and for what purpose.
Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi, he recalled, had been given Rs 5 million in cash in two installments of Rs 3 million and 2 million. He was not asked to give any receipt.
Jam Sadiq was given a similar amount in two parts and he had given a receipt.
Muhammad Khan Junejo was given Rs 2.5 million. But when he was asked to give a receipt for official records, he said such dealings were made on basis of mutual trust.
Abdul Hafeez Pirzada had been given six cheques of Rs 500,000 each.
Veteran politician Yousuf Haroon was also paid.
Brig Haroon said Mr Haroon used to visit Pakistan whenever there was some trouble ahead.
Pir Pagara, Maulana Salahuddin and Arbab Ghulam Rahim were also among the recipients of the public money, Brig Hamid Saeed said.
He said the purpose of distributing money was not personal. He said the motive would have been personal if Gen Beg had taken over power.
In response to a question, the former MI official said Mir Murtaza Bhutto was the founder of al-Zulfikar terrorist organisation and he used to visit India and receive a certificate after every passing out.–WAQT NEWS