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Pakistan's Supreme Court to Military: Stay Out of Politics - Asad Durrani

October 19, 2012

Pakistan's Supreme Court says the country's military and intelligence agency should stay out of politics.

The high court made the remarks Friday and recommended legal proceedings against former army chief Aslam Baig and retired head of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency Asad Durrani.

The court ruled that the two along with late President Ghulam Ishaq Khan violated the constitution after they bankrolled politicians during the 1990 general election in order to influence the vote's outcome.

The ruling came 16 years after retired air marshal Asghar Khan filed the case against the ISI.

In Friday's ruling, Supreme Court Chief Justice Muhammad Chaudhry said Baig and Durrani's acts "have brought a bad name to Pakistan and its armed forces as well as secret agencies in the eyes of the nation" and that the federal government should "take necessary steps under the constitution and law against them."

Justice Chaudhry also said that legal proceedings should be initiated against the politicians who allegedly have received donations to spend on election campaigns during the 1990 poll.

He said Pakistan's military and intelligence or any other agency has "no role to play in the political affairs of the country such as the formation or destabilization of the government or interfere in the holding of honest, free and fair elections."

Separately on Friday, Pakistani authorities say at least three paramilitary soldiers were killed when a bomb planted on a bicycle exploded near their vehicle in Quetta, the provincial capital of Baluchistan.

At least 10 civilians and paramilitary troops were wounded in the blast.

Nobody immediately claimed responsibility for the blast in the southwestern oil and gas-rich province, which sees frequent sectarian and militant violence as well as attacks related to a low-level insurgency.

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