Alleged HuT links: ‘Brigadier Ali likely to be released soon’

Published: June 29, 2011

Chief military spokesman confirms Brig Ali, four other detained servicemen have yet to be formally charge-sheeted.

ISLAMABAD: 

Brigadier Ali Khan is likely to be released soon after spending more than a month and a half in detention for suspected links with the banned extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir, his family and officials said.

The brigadier and four unnamed majors are in custody for questioning for their suspected ties with Hizb ut-Tahrir (HuT), which calls for creating a pan-Islamic caliphate system by ousting, what it says, the pro-American government in the country.

Military officials grilling the brigadier have yet not found ‘enough evidence’ to formally charge him, said a military official familiar with the development.

“You need to have very solid evidence to charge-sheet anyone in the military. At the moment there is no such thing against the detained officers, including Brig Ali,” added the official, requesting not to be identified. “Brig Ali is likely to be released soon,” he added.

However, it is unclear whether he will be dismissed from service or allowed to go home with his perks and privileges intact. Brig Ali is due to retire on July 9.

Sources say though Brig Ali was allegedly in contact with HuT, the main reason behind his detention appears to be his highly critical stance on the army’s high command over its relationship with the US.

According to the BBC, Brig Ali started writing letters to army generals, some of whom were his former colleagues, with suggestions on how to become ‘self-reliant’ and “to purge the army of the American influence”.

He told senior officers such as Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani that Pakistan’s ‘unconditional’ support to the Americans was causing resentment in the lower ranks of the army.

But this act does not constitute a serious offence that warranted a serious punishment such as court-martial, sources point out.

Brig Ali’s family has also confirmed that they have been given indications that he would be reunited with them in a few days. Brig Ali also spoke to his family last week for the first time since he was taken into custody on May 6.

“I talked to him briefly on our son’s birthday,” Brig Ali’s wife told The Express Tribune. “He was in good health and quite confident that he would be declared innocent,” she added.

“You should not worry. I have done nothing wrong and Inshallah (God willing) I will be with you very soon,” his wife quoted him as saying.

The military spokesperson Major General Athar Abbas also confirmed that Brig Ali and four other detained majors have yet to be formally charge-sheeted.

“Investigations are underway and they will be charge-sheeted once the probe is complete,” said Major General Abbas. However, he would not provide details.

The fate of the detained officers will be decided on the recommendations of the authorities questioning them, said another unnamed official. But he added that the detained officials are unlikely to be court-martialed.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 29th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (36)

  • Mirza
    Jun 29, 2011 - 7:49AM

    Pakistan is made for the army officers and their benefits. Let us release these “heroes”, apologize to them and reward them with the highest military honors. No army officer has ever been punished even after the loss and historic surrender of East Pakistan, so why start it now? Let us not defame the strongest, richest and brave institution and put a gag order on the criticism of army and make it unpatriotic just like we did after the surrender in East Pakistan. Recommend

  • Imran
    Jun 29, 2011 - 7:58AM

    Finally, ISI decided to keep this strategic contact open. Any doubts now? Recommend

  • hassan
    Jun 29, 2011 - 8:23AM

    Mr. MIRZA,

    Dont forget its the Army who had been laying lifes since inception of Pakistan. Even the worst critics – army is getting big chunk of national reserves, is not adequate in contrast with other people in the country.

    The armed forces developed from the 0 level now became one of the best organized force in the world despite all intervention in politics.

    The armed forces is the biggest HRD institution in the country. The soldier is looked after even after retirement by the officers ———– esprits de corps.

    The question must be asked from the Police, CSP officers, bussines community and other civilian lot what is there collective achievement as a group? Presently, there is so disharmony in the civil set ups that two serving CSP officers hardly look after each other even in the same department or city BUT when bribery is involved they work in herds…

    The Unity of Command and discipline of Pakistan Armed Forces exemplary that even in the prevailing war on terror despite the fact that there exist opposition among the ranks BUT no officer or soldier is disobeying the command, other wise the situation would become worsen. Pakistan Armed Forces Zindabad! Pakistan Paindabad!.Recommend

  • Akthar
    Jun 29, 2011 - 8:30AM

    Mirza, you are true patriot & my opiinion is also the sameRecommend

  • Khurram
    Jun 29, 2011 - 8:44AM

    “He told senior officers such as Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani that Pakistan’s ‘unconditional’ support to the Americans was causing resentment in the lower ranks of the army”.

    I fully agree with the above given statement, one cannot blame them, because all the goodies coming from Uncle Sam end up only with the higher echelons, never making way down to the lower ranks except perhaps some hand me downs to unit commanders that is about it. If being one of them, I be resentful too.Recommend

  • maafzal
    Jun 29, 2011 - 9:06AM

    Blaming army is same as you are blaming your own sons that are inducted in army and this will really demoralized them.The correct way is to point out the black sheeps in this institution and most important is that army high command should realize that they have to sacrifice their their ESTATES, luxuries, Defense schemes , askari schemes and so on……. because now our ATOMIC power nation do not need your sacrifice of lives but your sacrifice from your such NECESSITIES is a great blessing for this poor Pakistani nation Recommend

  • Asad
    Jun 29, 2011 - 9:16AM

    So they have been in detention for more than a month and the news came out about 2 weeks ago. It means they were taken into custody sometime near the abbotabad raid. There has been talk of PA arresting people who had been helping CIA in the Osama’s capture could these army officers be involved in that? HUT cover could be just to shut up the americans and save army’s face because it is still considered better to allegedly working for islamic extremists than for the CIA in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Jun 29, 2011 - 9:46AM

    these people are the heroes of our country so plz let them be free knowRecommend

  • Incredible
    Jun 29, 2011 - 9:49AM

    Pathetic!!!!Recommend

  • Awais
    Jun 29, 2011 - 9:50AM

    What a pitiful country this is.Recommend

  • wasim ahmed
    Jun 29, 2011 - 11:22AM

    whatever the verdict is we want the government of pakistan and army to inform the public that what is going on within these institutions. Its our right that we are aware of all the wrongdoings that are taking place in Pakistan. And let me add that the process of investigation should be transparent!Recommend

  • Syed Ali
    Jun 29, 2011 - 11:29AM

    @Mirza:
    I read your comments quite often. You have so much hatred for Pakistan’s institution especially military, that I think you seriously need some mental recourse and do interospection of your own contribution to this nation…. if you indeed consider yourself to be part of it. I do not think, in this news item, there is any thing that is remotely related to 1971 and its events. Its a case of high ranking officer under investigation. And your information is also wrong. Several officers in the army have been punished. following are few examples:

    !951-1953: Major General Akbar Khan…dismissed from sevice, went under trial and was released by the court. Several other high ranking officers and civilians were also part of it.
    1981— Four majors and one other officer implicated and courtmartled for trying to overthrow government of zia.
    1992… Army major Waheed court martiled and sentenced to death for killing four civilians.
    1996… Major General Abbasi and Brig. Mustansar dismissed and tried in court martial in conspiracy to over throw civilian government.
    2003- Admiral Mansural haq… arrested and tried for corruption. released only after he did plea barganing as required and allowed under law.
    2004- An airforce officer along with army major and a captain arrested for conspiracy to kill Musharaf. they are getting court martiled…as of today.

    I guess, this might be enough for now. please correct me if the facts are wrong. Recommend

  • Bilafond
    Jun 29, 2011 - 11:33AM

    Mirza@ They have been punished. Generals to Soldiers. Your ignorance cannot be a gospel truth, get your facts straight before you pick up your pen. Recommend

  • danish mazhar
    Jun 29, 2011 - 11:34AM

    our armed forces are filled with islamic fascists.it’s not a question of whether the islamic fanatics have infiltrated the forces,they were always withing the forces so need for them to do any infiltration.Zia ul haq and his notorious islamization programme ensured the soldiers becoming islamic fascists. sadly today the loyalty of our soldiers is not to pakistan.our soldiers’ loyalty first is to islam.
    our soldiers should realise that this is pakistan’s army,not islam’s army.
    our atomic bombs are for the defence of pakistan,not islam’s defence.Millions of non-muslim pakistanis’ tax money has gone towards our atomic programme so this bomb is pakistan’s bomb.pakistan and islam are two different things.learn to understand the difference before more lives are taken by the islamic terrorists.Recommend

  • Jun 29, 2011 - 11:42AM

    Hizb ul Tehrir is not at all an asset, they are just like any other party campaigning for what they think is correct (I don’t agree with them).

    Secondly, the brigadier should be released from Army as this is the proper way. He did not kill any one nor committed a crime per se. He did have political affiliations with a certain group which should not be tolerated at all being an army officer and that too with a political group which considers democracy as dangerous.

    Instead, the culprits of security agencies of Kharotabad incident should be made to pay for their crimes and the report should be brought in open.Recommend

  • Junaid Alam
    Jun 29, 2011 - 11:43AM

    I feel disappointed at those who are actually commenting without any real sense of this case.. first of all, HT is no strategic asset of the ISI and is in fact a globally functional political party that calls for Caliphate.. well, that sounds a pretty unrealistic call, but they don’t agree with the constitution of Pakistan, let alone be the strategic contact of ISI.. so please have your record corrected please.
    Secondly, without actually knowing what happened, Mr. Mirza seems to call him a “hero” so sarcastically.. he was a hero, for he demanded the high command to give up the assets and privileges that they are enjoying.. this is what infuriated the army and they came up with these utterly pointless allegations of his connection to Hizb ut Tahrir.Recommend

  • R S JOHAR
    Jun 29, 2011 - 11:46AM

    The Brigadier and others were guilty either way whether it was a case of gross in-subordination or their links with a militant organisation. But if they are left scot free then one can bet that military will face many such cases leading to revolt like conditions.Recommend

  • ali
    Jun 29, 2011 - 12:00PM

    Brigadier General Ali has been detained by military for his suspected links with a banned organistaion in Pakistan – having head office in UK where it is not banned. Freedom of expression is generally controlled in the fiorces world wide – as we experienced in Gen Mac Crystal’s case in US army.
    Investigations are yet on, credit must be given to army for starting a cleansing process witin its ranks & files.
    Dispensation of justice to aal accused military personnel shall be the bench mark that civil society must look for from military decision makers in Brigadier General’s case.Recommend

  • ali
    Jun 29, 2011 - 12:10PM

    @Bilafond: I disagree, they have not been punished, name a single General.
    You being military duffer (evident from your name Balafond Glacier) have jumped out just for nothing. General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi alias (AAK Niazi) or Tiger Niazi, whose shameful surrender is aired each year by the Indian media – was not even punished till he died few years back at Lahore.
    You and your fellow military men are needed to educate of your own military history rather than being educated at successful western campaigns.
    We all especially our military duffers haven’t learnt anything from our past history.Recommend

  • geo1
    Jun 29, 2011 - 12:19PM

    Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani: It truly amazes me that you incarcerated 5 inicent loyal comisioned officers of the Pak Army on links to a group thats not even on a U.S terror list!! Holding these officers & isolating them from there families so you can show the world that your agency ISI including islamabad had NO knowledge of OBL or the other AQ,HQNI,TALBN chain of command inside the populated cities including close proximity of the Pak Executive Office. My Teams have noted the Haqqini Terror Network squads implemented by your Intelligence agency to fire over 470 rockets into AFGHN-NATO boarder region,killing & injuring AFGHN- NATO security forces. We have noted that this was another attempt by Pakistan to thwart peace & stability in a 10 year war that has poured in 20 Billion dollars to the Pak economy,army,arsenal. Of the billions of dollars vested in Pakistan we have concluded & safe to assume that aid to Pakistan also became an additional side line income for the Millitants,ISI & Islamabad!!
    General Kayani, with all due respect in the best interest of peace and stability in the region!! Just understand this, that If for any reason my teams in Washington connect the dots that connect YOU to AQ,HQNI,TALBN terror networks in SWA/NWA attacks including deaths of NATO-US/ISAF forces!! I can assure you that you will cross paths with my teams.
    Recommend

  • Jun 29, 2011 - 12:59PM

    A person is NOT GUILTY unless proven otherwise – - – -
    They are as clean as anybody else. This matter is closed.

    Salute to Pak Army who has tradition even to try a senior Army official and others to keep its rank and file straight.

    Regards

    Dr. Saleem Siddiqi
    Johannesburg – South AfricaRecommend

  • faraz
    Jun 29, 2011 - 1:26PM

    Here Ayub, Zia, Yahya or Musharraf weren’t punished for violating constitution; generals admitted their role in electoral rigging but they proudly come on TV as analysts; compared to them this brigadier is an angel. The main problem is that the lower ranks don’t get a share in the pie. I think he couldn’t benefit from the “trickle-down effect” of US aid.Recommend

  • Munir
    Jun 29, 2011 - 2:03PM

    Let the army handle its officers and soldiers according to the institution’s discipline.

    When too much interferrence is done by the “media” in the name of “freedom of press”, that creates confusion and chaos. Pakistan cannot afford to have any further chaos than what we have right now.

    The media should play its positive role and stop aping the BBC and CNN, their style and “lies” when it comes to Pakistan Armed Forces.

    MAVRecommend

  • Ammad Qureshi
    Jun 29, 2011 - 2:06PM

    Pakistani Govt is Pro-American,whatever it did in the past like training Mujahideen under the supervision of ISI to disintegrate USSR was done to make America a super power and now our govt is killing these Mujahideen declaring them as a terrorist on auspices of America…Our country is front line state in the war against terrorism but America not only pose threats to Pakistan rather bombing innocent people with the help of drone attacks…Now America wants to demoralize Pakistan military, ISI and state them as a corrupt departments.it is about time to say ‘NO’ to America. other wise it would be too late.Recommend

  • Jameel
    Jun 29, 2011 - 2:29PM

    The army/ISI arrested a very senior army officer, made a big show of it in front of the whole world and yet it has no evidence? What a pathetic bunch of people. Whatever we are paying them is too much. Army’s incompetence is shown all the way. Not that it’s the first time.Recommend

  • Cautious
    Jun 29, 2011 - 3:18PM

    So the Big Shot General was arrested because he was a challenge to the Bigger Big Shot General — and the associating with Bad Guys was apparently just an excuse. It’s called mutiny in other countries and at a minimum the officer would be stripped of his rank/privileges and probably spend yrs in jail. Recommend

  • Jun 29, 2011 - 3:23PM

    WAA! you need very very hard evidence to convict someone in the military! But agencies picking up people, torture and killing them, no problem! As in the case of rangers killing 5 foreignors outside Quetta wont be made public!Recommend

  • Roflcopter
    Jun 29, 2011 - 5:10PM

    So this was just more drama to please the west “hey look we detained a good muslim brigadier and we are doing our best to weed out good musli….extremists from the armed forces, I hope you are happy oh lord US”.Recommend

  • ali
    Jun 29, 2011 - 5:31PM

    @geo1: “Sense of proportionate judgment case”.Recommend

  • Bangash
    Jun 29, 2011 - 6:37PM

    What a joke Pakistani investigations are, either the suspects are found innocent or released even before they are charged.Recommend

  • Mirza
    Jun 30, 2011 - 1:10AM

    Army has been punished? It must be joke of the century. Ayub, Zia, Yahya or Musharraf weren’t punished for violating constitution and committing multiple acts of treason. How many army officers were punished for losing more than half of the country? Not a single peron.

    I have never said a word against the people of Pakistan who are the worst victim of this colonial army. My only crime is to see people of the country to get the same facilities army officers have in healthcare, education and economic opportunity. As long as I am alive I would continue this and I am proud of that. I have been blessed for telling the truth not hiding it. What is wrong if there is a bit more equality and transparency in Pakistan? When it comes to their vested interests people and army talk about Islamic equality. There is no concept in Islam for a regular army on the English pattern with highly paid officers against the ordinary soldiers and civilians? There is no concept in Islam of a mercenary army with secret services against its own people? An army who does not behave as the public servant but a colonial power. Recommend

  • blithe
    Jun 30, 2011 - 4:07AM

    It seems like a witch-hunt.

    The BBC article is very instructive:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-13873188Recommend

  • bashir
    Jun 30, 2011 - 7:17AM

    a person is guilty until proven innocent .Recommend

  • A A K
    Jun 30, 2011 - 10:48AM

    Most of the remarks show lack of information, sensationalism and a selective thought process. The brigadier was basically ‘talking aloud’, which is not an offence, just a misdeamenour and dealt with by administrative action. Having ‘links’ with militant organisations can even mean he went to a mosque where some suspect people used to come. When someone comments on the defence budget, he should bear in mind that their aim is not to overrun India, but to defend against aggression, whcih they have done time and again, with great applause from military analysts world over. Time to stop talking like a street hawker and start thinking and talking like a well informed, educated and aware student of politicsRecommend

  • Patriotic
    Jun 30, 2011 - 1:09PM

    @maafzal: 100% agreedRecommend

  • Jun 30, 2011 - 3:10PM

    The good part of reader’s comments! is everyone has vented his feelings, not logically but emotionally, to degrade an act without facts, our common practice, due to our limited vision. We are patriot in disfiguring and degrading facts due our limited visualization as usual a practice of villagers? Does it mean now villagers are at tiller of affairs? What we have commented could cause headache to all the agencies of free world in their countries. There is no freedom of expression in our thought but grains of destruction in the name of democracy of west, like we adore their products but we cannot use them to our advantage, as we don’t know their application. When sick we go to physician for medicine but do not register the does and doesn’t regarding other factors like diet, exercise, timings etc.Can a nation run on the wills of individuals, like your house and the family that resides in it? Most of the comments are of individuals who are not part of family, community, mohallah, masjid,or even the grave yard we are likely to reside in? Your foreign thought comments are welcomed from the degenerating society, were you went to acquire wealth of knowledge but you reappeared as rejected persons of that society. More can be said but we need some soul searching in light of our religion, family, and society at all levels, our solution is here not out sideRecommend

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