After brigadier, army detains four majors

Military spokesperson confirms detentions, says they were questioned for their links with Hizb ut-Tahrir.


Kamran Yousaf June 23, 2011

ISLAMABAD:


The army on Wednesday confirmed the detention of four more officers for their alleged links with banned Hizb ut-Tharir in a development that indicates a new push by the military to purge the institution of elements who may have sympathies for militant groups.


The arrest of four unnamed majors is linked with the detention of Brigadier Ali Khan, who has been in custody since May 6 for questioning over his ties with the banned outfit, which calls for creating a pan-Islamic caliphate system by ousting, what it says, is the pro-American government in the country.

Hizb ut-Tharir is outlawed in some countries, including Pakistan, but interestingly the group is legal and active in Western countries, such as the United States and Britain. It claims to advocate non-violence, but some fear its extremist ideology can provoke its followers to embrace militancy.

“Yes, four army majors are being questioned for their links with Hizb ut-Tharir,” Major-General Athar Abbas, Director-General of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) told The Express Tribune. However, he would not say when the four were taken into custody and where were they posted.

But military sources say that unlike Brig Khan, the four were not working at the General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi. Some sources did not rule out the possibility of the detained officers’ involvement in a bigger plot.

However, Maj Gen Abbas refused to comment on it saying more revelations at this stage might compromise the investigations. “It is premature to draw any such conclusion,” he added.

A military official familiar with the development said the officers were detained after their conduct started influencing their colleagues.

“Anyone can have their own ideology or religious leaning but when it starts affecting the military discipline and other people, that’s where authorities take action,” said the official, who asked not to be named.

In the case of these five officers, they were in serious violation of military discipline and had tried to propagate their own ideology in the military, he added.

Meanwhile, the wife of detained Brigadier Ali Khan told The Express Tribune that her husband was extremely angry over the US raid in Abbottabad to kill al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. “Like other patriotic Pakistanis, my husband was also upset on that day,” said Mrs Khan.

She called the charges against his husband as rubbish and totally false. “Yes, he offers prayers five times a day. Yes, he is a practicing Muslim but he has absolutely no links with any extremist organisation,” she insisted.

Brigadier Khan’s lawyer Inam Rahim, a retired colonel, told the Associated Press that his client was arrested for demanding that someone within the military be held accountable for the top-secret US special forces’ raid that killed Bin Laden last month in Abbottabad.

However, military authorities have dispelled the impression that his detention was in any way connected to the Abbottabad incident.





Published in The Express Tribune, June 23rd, 2011.


COMMENTS (45)

buttjee | 10 years ago | Reply Khurram , my friend, your response to my comments is partially correct and I do agree that Pakistan to some extent can be blamed for initiating hostilities on a limited scale which provided an excuse to India to initiate an all out war against Pakistan. If you carry out a realistic analysis of the politico-military situation emerging before each Indo-Pak conflict then you will realize that Pakistan alone cannot be blamed for initiating the wars between India and Pakistan. Imagine, someone has occupied your house against all moral and ethical principles and you want to get it vacated through reasoning and peaceful negotiations but the other side, being quite happy with the possession your house, is not prepared to listen to your reasoning. Having tried all peaceful means to get the house vacated, one day, out of sheer frustration you may be compelled to use force. This is what had happened in 1948 and in 1965. In 1971, India was the aggressor and was responsible for initiating the war in Eastern theater. Pakistan's preemptive air strike in the Western Theater was merely a response to what India was doing in erstwhile East Pakistan. Pakistan is comparatively a smaller country with much less resources and that is why it would never want to go to war. But who can deny that we have a number of unresolved disputes with India which cannot be put on the back burner forever. Although wars are not the solution for the pending problems yet these wars have proved that India and Pakistan are a dangerous flash point which in any future war runs the risk of use of nuclear weapons which can seriously jeopardize the world peace. Hence taking note of the tense nature of India – Pakistan relationship the International community has pressurized the two countries to break the deadlock and open up dialogue for the resolution of disputes. Lets hope the ongoing dialogue will result into peaceful resolution of all our disputes with India.
Naseer | 10 years ago | Reply @rashid, @R S JOHAR, @Hedgefunder, @Uza Syed, @ . Former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury Paul Craig Roberts confessed in his recent column saying: . “At Washington’s behest, the government of Pakistan is conducting war against its own people, killing many and forcing others to flee their homes and lands…. Deputy U.S. Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin ordered the Pakistani government to raise taxes to pay for the war against its own people… The puppet ruler, Asif Ali Zardari, complied with his American master’s orders.”
Islam or “Islamists” are not the reason why Pakistan today is in dire straits, it is the SECULARISTS, wether military or civilian, who have been at the helm since it’s inception who have shaped Pakistan to be the dysfunctional, corrupt, anarchic state that it is today.
@Babloo, ( Re: so the solution to Pak problems is more Islam. If that makes matters worse than even more Islam. Good diagnosis. ) ⇠ Majority of Pakistanis want government to Islamise society: Gallup Poll – The Express Tribune . @Babloo ⇠ Moreover, a recent survey from an international market survey organization (MEMRB) about the ruling system of Pakistan has exposed the claims of the popularity of democracy. According to the survey the majority of the people, (53%), desire Khilafah in Pakistan, 11 percent desire democracy and just two percent are interested in Islamic democracy.
56% educated people supported the Khalafat as a final way of governance in Pakistan.
@buttjee, The enemy or the problem is not Islam or "Islamists", find the TROJAN HORSE and you'll find the enemy :
On 1 December 2009, US President, Barack Obama, said, “In the past, there have been those in Pakistan who have argued that the struggle against extremism is not their fight… But in recent years, as innocents have been killed from Karachi to Islamabad… Public opinion has turned.” The US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates said, “The more they get attacked internally, just like this terrible attack in Rawalpindi at the mosque, the more open they may be to additional help from us.” (Voice of America, 8 December 2009).
Need I mention the Raymond Davisis of Pakistan, free to plant, execute, and then recruit the very same people who were affected by their own doings and cycle continues, and all this time it is not an Islamic Ruling system that has presided over the shambles but the SECULARISTS.
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