The Muslim Times’ Editor for Pakistan
Credit: Xpress Tribune
There are no details as to how exactly this money was used, but sources claim that the party used the funds in an attempt to influence loyalties of parliamentarians in Punjab – an exercise that reached its peak in the lead-up to and during the eventual imposition of governor rule in Punjab in 2009. According to sources, though the party wanted to try to form its own government in the province, some hiccups – including steep demands of the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), such as the Punjab chief minister’s slot, – stalled this plan.
The classified documents made available to The Express Tribunestated that never before had such a huge amount been withdrawn from the secret fund of the IB in such a short span of time.
According to the rules and regulations, the purpose of the secret fund is only to obtain or uncover sensitive information necessary to protect ‘national interest’ – it cannot be used for any other purpose, even emergencies or incidental expenses. All withdrawals are supposed to come under specific heads and justifications. This was not the case with this large withdrawal.
The IB works under the supervision of the prime minister and the agency’s director general is directly answerable to the prime minister.
The issue first came to light when Dr Shoaib Suddle was made the director-general of the IB.
When contacted, Suddle admitted the withdrawal of the said amount, but told The Express Tribune that he had informed the premier regarding the case personally. After assuming charge in 2008, Suddle was informed about the withdrawal of a large chunk of IB’s secret fund – initially believed to be Rs920 million. However, after a probe it emerged that the actual amount was Rs270 million.