Army chief dismisses 11 military officers over corruption charges

Published: April 21, 2016
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Army chief General Raheel Sharif. PHOTO: ISPR

Army chief General Raheel Sharif. PHOTO: ISPR

ISLAMABAD: Army chief General Raheel Sharif on Thursday dismissed 11 military officers over corruption, in a rare display of accountability by the institution.

One lieutenant general, one major general, five brigadiers, three colonels and one major are among those dismissed by the Army chief.

There is no official confirmation of the dismissal as yet.

“I can confirm the sacking of at least six senior officers which include a lieutenant general,” said a senior officer based in military headquarters, crediting popular army chief Raheel Sharif with launching the investigation leading to the dismissals.

Army chief calls for ‘across-the-board accountability’ in veiled reference to Panama leaks

Another source confirmed the sackings.

It was unclear when the officers were fired, the precise nature of the charges, or whether they would face criminal proceedings in a civilian court.

According to media reports, Lt Gen Obaidullah Khan Khattak is among the military officers dismissed. Lt Gen Obaid was promoted to the rank in 2013 when he was serving as inspector general of the Frontier Corps in Balochistan.

The other officers have been named as Maj Gen Ejaz Shahid, Brigadier Rasheed, Brigadier Asad Shahzada, Brigadier Saifullah, Brigadier Amir, Lt Col Haider and Maj Najeeb.

The development comes days after the army chief said “across the board accountability is necessary for the solidarity, integrity and prosperity of Pakistan”, adding that the war against terror cannot be won unless “the menace of corruption is uprooted.”

“Across-the-board accountability is necessary for the solidarity, integrity and prosperity of Pakistan. Pakistan’s armed forces will fully support every meaningful effort in that direction, which would ensure a better future for our next generations,” General Raheel said during his visit to the Signal Regimental Centre in Kohat on Tuesday.

Fighting the curse of corruption

The army chief’s statement had followed Panama Papers revelations shrouding the prime minister’s family among many other prominent political figures holding off-shore wealth.

Around 220 Pakistanis, including three children of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, have been named in the massive leak of documents from a Panama-based law firm.

Prime Minister Nawaz has rejected any allegations of money laundering, claiming that his children have legitimate businesses abroad, and has called for the establishment of an inquiry commission.

Rs4.3b NLC scam: Military probe finds two ex-generals guilty

The move was hailed by commentators because wrongdoings committed by the army, which has ruled Pakistan for around half of its existence and continues to exert control over foreign policy, rarely come to light.

“It’s an extraordinary development,” retired general Talat Masood told AFP.

“The military has taken the lead in punishing corrupt officials and has set an excellent example. It will have a very serious impact and very positive impact in the future. Those who are corrupt should be worried now.”

In August last year, a long-delayed but much awaited military probe into the Rs4.3 billion National Logistics Cell (NLC) scam had found two former generals guilty of illegal investments in the stock exchange.

Following the inquiry, military’s media wing, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), said that in light of findings of the inquiry, the two accused retired generals were punished under the Pakistan Army Act.

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Reader Comments (62)

  • Unknown
    Apr 21, 2016 - 2:57PM

    Seems like the days of Raiwand wali sarkar are numbered Recommend

  • Jibran
    Apr 21, 2016 - 2:58PM

    Where are the Criminal charges? Dismissal alone is not sufficient.Recommend

  • ahmed
    Apr 21, 2016 - 2:58PM

    This man alone has brought back Pakistan on the right track, may Allah protect him and give him courage to do more. Recommend

  • sabi
    Apr 21, 2016 - 2:59PM

    That’s good it’s his duty to run the institution according to laws prescribed in constitution. It’s also his duty to remain in his domain as prescribed in law of the land. Some people see great implementations of this act they are crook who want democracy go home so that they join hand with dictator to loot the nation. If general has some ‘thinking’ he should forget it.Recommend

  • AZ
    Apr 21, 2016 - 3:04PM

    The man of words. Proved what said. Very wise man Gen Raheel.Recommend

  • sheraz
    Apr 21, 2016 - 3:07PM

    Hail to Chief! Hail to Chief!
    Raheel Shareef zindabad! Pakistan Paaindaba.Recommend

  • excalibur
    Apr 21, 2016 - 3:08PM

    Respect !

    , a shut up call for all criminals in KhaadiRecommend

  • farru
    Apr 21, 2016 - 3:08PM

    Now that is something. This will help rebuild confidence of the nation on army as an institution. Recommend

  • Abdullah
    Apr 21, 2016 - 3:09PM

    This will put an enormeus pressure on the political and beuratical elite. Great step by general, well done. Ordinary people should support all political parties who have a antigraft agenda, like PTI , JI etc.Recommend

  • Lahori
    Apr 21, 2016 - 3:13PM

    Nawaz, get the hint.Recommend

  • roadkashehzada
    Apr 21, 2016 - 3:16PM

    imprisonment for civilans and mere dismissal for military personnel?Recommend

  • Pak Lover
    Apr 21, 2016 - 3:19PM

    Salute to Sir,

    Please do the same “across the board “.Recommend

  • imran
    Apr 21, 2016 - 3:26PM

    Dismissal from what ? Arent they already retired ? Recommend

  • YP Mississauga
    Apr 21, 2016 - 3:32PM

    1,Lots of politicians will be flying for medical check up
    2,Lots of politicians have lost their sleep.
    3,Some Govt. Ministers and protectors on talk shows protecting their bosses from Panama leaks are going to shut up.Recommend

  • Khan
    Apr 21, 2016 - 3:33PM

    Dismissal not sufficient. Needs further details, what corruption they did, and what other punishment is given..Recommend

  • Apr 21, 2016 - 3:49PM

    Thank You Raheel Sharif We are Proud of You Sir. Now the time is 2 start accountability of Politicians from A to Z without any discrimination.Recommend

  • z
    Apr 21, 2016 - 3:54PM

    Most of them were already retired. The funny things is they will still receive pension and medical facilities. WOWRecommend

  • Kickass
    Apr 21, 2016 - 3:55PM

    @Jibran:
    This action is taken after doing the necessary preliminaries. Please don’t waste space and others time by such comments.Recommend

  • Bilal
    Apr 21, 2016 - 4:01PM

    Just the tip of the iceberg. This is just a token gesture. Even then, it will be tough to remove NS without a coup.Recommend

  • Karachiite
    Apr 21, 2016 - 4:03PM

    Thank you Raheel Shareef! Long live the Chief!Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Apr 21, 2016 - 4:07PM

    @Jibran:
    One step at a time. Perhaps they are not entitled to any pension and/or all their cheaply or freely acquired plots has been seized..Recommend

  • Waqas
    Apr 21, 2016 - 4:12PM

    Ohhh man….
    The general must stay… this nation needs him for a better tomorrowRecommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Apr 21, 2016 - 4:21PM

    One of two. Drama or Jungle Law. Whatever it is, nation won’t tolerate it this time. Nation has witnessed such acts before. Recommend

  • Jonaid
    Apr 21, 2016 - 4:22PM

    @ahmed:
    100% agreedRecommend

  • asif
    Apr 21, 2016 - 4:31PM

    What about the corruption by the Army officers in CPEC project. Is that on the list?Recommend

  • Junaid
    Apr 21, 2016 - 4:34PM

    For all those rejoicing, it is a good step BUT NOT ENOUGH. No transparency shown in the decision. Why those punished getting terminal benefits like pension? Why not behind bars? Are the civilians treated the same way?
    This internal mechanism of accountability is not enough and not transparent, the standards of accountability must be same for all incl military and judiciary. No sacred cows please. Recommend

  • Ali S
    Apr 21, 2016 - 4:47PM

    This is called leading by example.Recommend

  • UMER IJAZ
    Apr 21, 2016 - 4:50PM

    Turning Point of Pakistan’s Track ! No exemption to any corrupt monster in the country. Mr. Raheel Shareef, a man of action, a Braveheart !!!Recommend

  • Asif Maalik
    Apr 21, 2016 - 4:53PM

    This gallantry budge by army chief will give a justification to the establishment if they will take over all the businesses of state including accountability. On the other hand I don’t hear “My dear countrymen” on state television because a coup will not be tolerable by world powers at this moment. Moreover nation would like to see all the sacked officers in courts of law as the dismissal is not sufficient alone. Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Apr 21, 2016 - 4:55PM

    Army act allows Army Chief to take this step or not, its up to army brass to decide but politicians have no such hiring and firing power. A civilian prime minister cannot fire his own driver without due process. If this drama is staged to scare politicians then soon it will backfire. Nobody can fire a civilian employee without going through full process and that is not army chief’s jurisdiction.Recommend

  • Ravian
    Apr 21, 2016 - 4:58PM

    Nawaz Sharif is the initial target but we should not forget Zardari and his band of bandits. Recommend

  • abu noor
    Apr 21, 2016 - 4:59PM

    Go Nawaz Go! Immigrate to London and enjoy the fortunes your kids have earned through their sheer hard-work (ahm)!!! Please also take Chotu with you as we need a tabdeeli (don’t read this as PTI) in Punjab! Recommend

  • Apr 21, 2016 - 5:10PM

    @Waqas:
    I have a very strong feeling that he is gonna stay..Recommend

  • anjum
    Apr 21, 2016 - 5:19PM

    Excellent, a brave step to counter corruption across the board, Now political parties should also required to show some dignity and expel all corrupt ones in their parties.Recommend

  • Adeel Abbas
    Apr 21, 2016 - 5:30PM

    Don’t just sack them but hand them over to Rangers for 90 Days and get them tried in oped court.Recommend

  • Khattak
    Apr 21, 2016 - 5:33PM

    These were disposable I guess in the great schemes of thing. What about Musharaf, who violated the constitution. Recommend

  • Apr 21, 2016 - 5:41PM

    This is great step in order to ensure across the board accountability. The dismissal from duty is just the beginning. And only Army has done so, so far. The political parties have not even dismissed any of their corrupt members.Recommend

  • Hamdani
    Apr 21, 2016 - 5:56PM

    ThankYou Raheel Sharif. thank you. thank you. thank you.Recommend

  • ibs
    Apr 21, 2016 - 6:05PM

    May Allah protect this man and give him the power to continue his work. He has single handedly transformed Pakistan! MashaAllahRecommend

  • SKS
    Apr 21, 2016 - 6:12PM

    Chess move, to put pressure on someone. Ofcourse there are a lot of people willing to accept this drama and applaud this step with their mouth open. Didnt the establishment know that these people were corrupt before; timing? Also isn’t the punishment supposed to be severe in armed forces????Recommend

  • Due Process
    Apr 21, 2016 - 6:35PM

    How about due process to prove charges against all accused?Recommend

  • Due Process
    Apr 21, 2016 - 6:38PM

    Unless charges are proved in the courts against the PM, the sitting Government should not be destabilized.Recommend

  • Zubair Khan
    Apr 21, 2016 - 6:47PM

    My dear jubilant comrades do not jump in joy. Just wait for official verification and then comment.Recommend

  • Muneeb
    Apr 21, 2016 - 6:58PM

    Gents & Ladies,

    Official statement from ISPR is not out yet. Until now its a story from source. Probably ISPR shall provide the full details as dismissal from service is the first act, Court Marshall or further proceedings shall follow later. It seems that since enquiry was going on from 1 year so its the first step only, yet to be followed by further proceedings as per army act.
    We shall not give verdict for being too light punishment for the servicemen. InshaAllah justice shall be served.
    Bravo !!!!!! Raheel Shareef…..Recommend

  • Rawalpindi Kid
    Apr 21, 2016 - 7:05PM

    @Khattak: The supreme court ruled Musharraf’s action as legal. Moreover Musharraf’s govt was thousand times better than the goons who have ruled, looted and plundered Pakistan for the last 8 years as well as before Musharraf. The Panama leaks only provide proof of their corruption, something that every Pakistani knows for years. Rather than pointing your finger at the Army you should point it at the corrupt politicians who have destroyed Pakistan. Had they ruled Pakistan with honesty, integrity, and diligence there would never be any danger to the constitution.Recommend

  • Sandip
    Apr 21, 2016 - 7:47PM

    How about putting the alleged rapist of Dr. Shazia Khalid – then Capt. Hammad, on trial in a civilian court? Then army chief Musharraf simply gave him the clean chit and literally hounded Dr. Khalid out of Balochistan. This case would be an acid test of whether accountability is indeed across the board or is this another window dressing in motion.Recommend

  • Apr 21, 2016 - 8:00PM

    Army rule is do court Marshall sir!!Recommend

  • H Chaudhry
    Apr 21, 2016 - 8:06PM

    Good work General, now throw these officers in Jails, punish them after running a fair trail! Good work. To all others comparing this to Nawaz, remember Nawaz is elected. Wait till 2018.Recommend

  • gp65
    Apr 21, 2016 - 8:12PM

    @UMER IJAZ:
    @Raja Habib:
    @Ali S:
    What is the example? Where is the accountability. These were retired officers. They will continue their pension. There is no criminal prosecution. Would you be acceptable for such “accountability” for politicians? You have chance to do it anyway during elections.Recommend

  • Suhail Kalhoro
    Apr 21, 2016 - 8:50PM

    It is indeed a good step towards transparency, but it may not be as it looks, the abolition of their positions isn’t sufficient. Probably, the great side of such accountability is a clear message to civil servants.Recommend

  • Shah
    Apr 21, 2016 - 9:42PM

    Even dismissals are fine. Just apply the same rule on political elite holding seats including Sharif and we are good.Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    Apr 21, 2016 - 10:12PM

    @gp65:
    These were retired officers.

    Are you saying that the Sharif has dismissed the retired officers?

    Rex Minor Recommend

  • S.R.H. Hashmi
    Apr 21, 2016 - 10:36PM

    Dismissing senior army officers including one lieutenant general, one major general, five brigadiers, three colonels and one major, including forfeiture of pension and other benefits is a really drastic step which would have faced some resistance even within the army. However, the fact that General Raheel Sharif went ahead with it clearly shows that he means business and will accept no excuses at all.

    And this also sends a clear message to the politicians but like in the past, they are unlikely to behave and will have to be thrown out through public protests and demonstrations, with a bit of help from influential circles. At least Imran Khan is determined to start a campaign, though he is unlikely to get much support from other politicians most of whom are themselves of questionable integrity, which is the mildest way of putting. It could be ideal if Dr. Tahirul Qadri also joined protests, bringing with him his committed followers.

    Perhaps fresh elections with strict application of articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution could bring in parliamentarians with integrity who would take measures to conduct accountability of the corrupt and try to bring back at least some of the looted money taken abroad.

    Coming back to the army chief , I must admit his action is exemplary. However, MQM leaders have made shocking allegations about telephone calls being made to their members, threatening them to join Mustafa Kamal’s party or face punitive action. MQM leaders also stated that they have requested senior Rangers / Army officers for a meeting at which they would present documentary evidence supporting their allegation, but their efforts have remained fruitless.

    At a time when the army chief has called for across-the-board accountability and has in fact set a shining example by starting with his own institution, such alleged dubious activities – if actually taking place as alleged by MQM – are totally out of place and entirely unwarranted.

    KarachiRecommend

  • Parvez
    Apr 21, 2016 - 11:28PM

    I know of a Naval Chief dismissed on similar grounds years ago…..today I hear his rank has been reinstated, plus his house car and perks etc. ( kindly correct me if I’m wrong ) Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Apr 22, 2016 - 12:01AM

    Moaners will always be moaning. The army personnel implicated are serving in the army.Recommend

  • Zahid
    Apr 22, 2016 - 1:50AM

    Army Chief General Raheel Sharif Zindabad, General must take seriously action against Nawaz Sharif and family, PM must be resign
    Thank you General Raheel SharifRecommend

  • Tahir
    Apr 22, 2016 - 2:22AM

    How can these corrupt people get pensions even after dismissal, what about billions worth of land and plots each one has received, will they be confiscated?Recommend

  • Babbarsher Khan
    Apr 22, 2016 - 4:14AM

    Military Sharif-1 Civilian Sharif-0!
    The military kinds shows the civilian kind who is the “true” leader when it comes to the game of “One-upmanship”. This has made the civilian one totally dejected, lost and confused.Recommend

  • Sana
    Apr 22, 2016 - 5:51AM

    @gp65:
    theirs was summary trial in which they were fired without giving a chance for clarification. No fringe benefits, plots or medical for them or the whole family .
    they cannot use their rank with their name , not as retired or former so cannot apply for any job which asks for retired army officer.
    people used to commanding respect this insult is worse than jail.
    If their corruption cases are taken by govt/ civil courts can they prove and punish them ????Recommend

  • Humza
    Apr 22, 2016 - 8:25AM

    @Rawalpindi Kid: Muasharraf should have been tried and jailed for treason since he broke the constitution to rule as a dictator for almost a decade. That Musharraf was left off is the biggest corruption in Pakistan because it shows that a man with a gun can undermine a state and take over an elected government. The problem with Muslim countries is that they don’t follow system, processes and democracy but resort to quick fixes and worship dictators. We saw how Musharraf gave Pakistan the worst instability and terrorism. There is a reason why Muslim states ruled by dictators and kings appear like Syria, Libya, Yemen, Egypt and Iraq. True strength comes from following a system and we all need to let democracy flourish and develop. It’s good that corrupt generals are brought to justice but due process and not just slinging around allegations is the order of any civilized society.Recommend

  • Waseem Bahadur
    Apr 22, 2016 - 4:05PM

    Well done. It is a great step towards tackling corruption that is in the veins of every institution. Every individual from top to bottom must be accountable and treated same as per the states law. This bold initiative by General is the first step. Hopefully its just not a dismissal. May our society get rid of corruption and other social issues. Aameen!Recommend

  • Zaman Khan
    Apr 23, 2016 - 1:40AM

    It is about time to bring these two parties i.e. Muslim League (noon) and PPP to account for looting the country for years in turns and nobody else can do this successfully but General Raheel Sharif.Recommend

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