ISLAMABAD: As court martial proceedings against Pakistan Army’s Brigadier Ali Khan are underway, for suspected ties with banned group Hizbut Tahrir (HuT), the BBC’s Urdu service reported that it had acquired a copy of the official charge sheet against the senior army officer, on Wednesday.
The chargesheet was issued and signed by a high ranking army official in Sialkot, where the brigadier was serving. The chargesheet cites three allegations against Brig Khan.
The first allegation states that the Brigadier Khan had admitted on various occasions to links with the HuT between 2008 and 2011.
Next, the chargesheet stated that Brig Khan was conspiring to topple the government of Pakistan and for this purpose was trying to coax other senior army officers into joining him.
The officers include, Brigadier Amir Riaz, head of the 111 Brigade, Brigadier Naeem Sadiq of the Defence Export Promotion Organisation and Air Defence Command Brigadier Mohammad Amin.
The 111 brigade is posted in Rawalpindi and is part of the X Corps. It has been known to play a pivotal role in military takeovers in the country, given it is a force of 4,250 strong, assigned to guard sensitive military and government installations, including the General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi.
The third charge against Brig Khan was that of trying to instigate a mutiny within the army by launching an attack on the GHQ.
If proven guilty on all counts, the brigadier could be sentenced to death. He will also face a court martial in the officer’s unit of origin, in Multan.
Civilians were also named in the chargesheet, who the army say are British citizens and members of HuT.
Earlier on February 12, military sources confirmed that a trial against Brig Khan was under way.
The brigadier and four other officers were detained in 2011, soon after the May 2 incident in which US forces killed al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad. He has been in custody for almost 10 months and was working at the GHQ in Rawalpindi at the time of his arrest. Brig Khan has denied the allegations against him.
His lawyer, retired Col Inam Rahim, said his client was detained for demanding that someone within the military be held accountable for the covert US raid in Abbottabad.
Security agencies had also arrested HuT deputy spokesperson Imran Yousafzai from Islamabad following the detention of the suspected officials. Four other HuT activists were also arrested from Islamabad and Multan.
The banned outfit has spearheaded criticism against the Pakistan Army for its ‘failure’ during the US raid in Abbottabad.
Leaflets distributed by HuT in major cities instigated army officers to mutiny against their top brass.
Brig Khan was due to retire on July 9, 2011, after completing his service in the Pakistan Army.
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