“What can an individual do (to prevent malpractices?” he said, adding that the entire system is flawed. In an interview to a TV channel on Monday evening, he said after 1975 there was not a single election that was not rigged. He said in the election he contested from Lahore against Mian Nawaz Sharif, a military official had told him that he had delivered 25,000 votes to the PML leader.
Replying to a question, the Air Marshal said 99 per cent of the army men were opposed to any irregularities in the electoral process. Asked whether the recent judgment on his petition would affect the outcome of the general elections, the senior leader said it all depends upon the nation. The Air Marshal led the Tehrik-i-Istiqlal for decades, but recently merged the same with the Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf of Imran Khan.
In response to a question, Asghar Khan said political leaders who had received funds from the ISI should be proceeded against as they had committed an offence. “Such a step will purge the politics of dirty elements”.
He dispelled the impression that the army would oppose the trial of Gen Beg or former ISI chief Gen Durrani for their role in the disbursement of funds among the political leaders. The army would be happy for action against such people, he said.
Asghar Khan said the army would be happy if the political stables are cleansed. Asked if the ISI and MI could be reined in, he said: “Why not? The government has the power to do so”.
Replying to a question, he disclosed that Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had once approached him with the suggestion that both join hands to make fool of the people after which they could rule the country for some 20 years. However, he said, he rejected the suggestion and turned against the then budding leader.
He said Bhutto had told him that the Pakistani nation consisted of fools and with someone carrying a stick it was not difficult to rule them.
The Air Marshal said he regarded ZAB as his enemy since that day. But, he made it clear that his much publicized remarks that he would hang Mr Bhutto from the Kohala bridge had been uttered in a light vein.
The veteran leader regretted that the Pakistani nation has been fooled by successive governments.
Responding to a question, he said Mr Bhutto, Zardari and Nawaz Sharif had similar views about rigging the elections.
Asked if the FIA could carry out an impartial investigation into the ISI funds, as ordered by the Supreme Court, he said he did not think so. He said a judicial commission could better decide the matter.
He said there was no harm in auditing the ISI accounts. “They are not a separate institution”.
He did not agree with the suggestion that the prevailing situation in Balochistan was similar to the one which was there in East Pakistan before it emerged as Bangladesh on the global map.
“It will be unfair to draw a parallel. However, steps must be taken to set the situation right”.
He said the Balochistan government should use its powers to normalize the situation.