The family of an army brigadier, who was arrested on charges of inciting mutiny and plotting attacks on the army headquarters, has alleged that the military brass is influencing his court martial proceedings.
Talking to the BBC, a younger brother of Brig Ali Khan said that his elder brother was not being allowed to meet his civil attorney, making the family believe that the court martial proceedings would not be transparent.
Malik Bashir said that he and his lawyer, Asad Manzoor Butt, arrived at the Sialkot garrison to see Brig Ali with a prior permission from the authorities but the counsel was not allowed to see his client.
The military authorities insist that only a military-appointed defence counsel can see Brig Ali. “This is violation of rules and we are considering consulting civil courts against this behaviour,” he said.
Brig Ali was taken into custody from his office in the GHQ on May 6. Meanwhile, investigations were being carried out against him for his alleged links with Hizbut Tehrir extremist group.
According to the charge sheet, Brig Ali is accused of inciting mutiny against the civilian government and plotting with some military officers and civilians to attack the GHQ. He had tried to take support from the chief of the Triple-One Brigade and some other officers.
Bashir alleged that some senior army officers were using delaying tactics in initiating the court martial proceedings against his brother. He added that according to rules, formal proceedings of the Field General Court Martial should have started immediately after the framing of the charge sheet. “The prosecution does not have any evidence against my brother and they are just dilly dallying and taking revenge.”
Bashir said his family has been serving the military for 60 years and wanted to solve the issue within the army. “But these injustices are forcing us to take the case to civil courts, though this is not our priority,” he added.
Bashir requested the army brass to refrain from influencing the proceedings of the Field General Court Martial and allow Brig Ali a fair trial. He said if the military authorities did not influence the court, he was quite sure his brother would prove innocent.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 26th, 2012.