Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pakistan Army Uncovers a cell of Murtids in the Army !

"Murtids" caught in the Army with contacts with a militant oganization. Serving Bearded army officer by the name of Brig. Ali Khan arrested.

A spokesman for Pakistan’s military confirmed on Tuesday that a senior officer had been detained and was under investigation for suspected ties to militants.

The BBC’s Urdu-language news service first reported that the officer, Brigadier Ali Khan, who was serving in the general headquarters of Pakistan’s military in Rawalpindi, was taken into custody last month.

Dawn, a leading Pakistani newspaper, added that the military’s chief spokesman, Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas, “confirmed that the officer had been arrested, but released no further details on which groups he was alleged to have been in contact with.”

General Abbas told Agence France-Presse that Brigadier Khan had been detained because of contacts with a “defunct” militant organization. He added, “The investigation is on and we follow a zero tolerance policy of any such activity within the army.”

General Abbas later told Reuters that Brigadier Khan was linked to Hizb-ul-Tahrir, a radical Islamist group.

Omar Waraich, a Pakistan correspondent for Time magazine, noted on Twitter that Hizb-ul-Tahrir “clandestinely dropped pamphlets in military cantonments” after the American raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, “calling for officers to establish an Islamic caliphate.”

A Karachi newspaper, The Express Tribune, reported that “sources close to Khan’s family revealed he had not returned home on May 6.”

“Senior military officers had told the family that he had been held back to answer some questions and that he would return soon,” the newspaper said.

A Pakistani journalist, Abbas Nasir, pointed out on Twitter, Brigadier Khan seems to have been detained just four days after the Abbottabad raid.

The Express Tribune said Brigadier Khan came from a military family. “Khan’s father was a junior-commissioned officer in the army and his brother is a serving colonel posted with an intelligence agency,” the paper reported. “His son-in-law and son are both captains in the army.” The Tribune added that a senior military source said that the possible radicalization of a senior officer “with loyalty to the army stretching to three generations” was “a worrisome issue for the army.”

After militants penetrated security at a naval base in Karachi earlier this month, Newsweek asked Rehman Malik, Pakistan’s interior minister, if “rogue elements within the military” might give radicals access to Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. The minister assured the magazine, “Our nuclear weapons are 200 percent safe.”

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