ISLAMABAD, June 26: The counsel for Brig (retd) Ali Khan informed the Lahore High Court on Tuesday that a military court had completed court martial proceedings against his client for allegedly planning attacks on the GHQ with the support of banned group Hizbut Tahrir.
Colonel (retd) Inamur Rahim informed Justice Khwaja Imtiaz Ahmed of the LHC Rawalpindi bench that the court martial proceedings had been completed on June 20 despite the fact that his client, being a retired army officer, could not be tried by the military court under the Pakistan Army Act, 1952, on the charges of sedition.
He said the ministry of defence also did not produce the letter through which the federal government had stayed retirement of Brig Khan, adding that the LHC had directed the government in February to submit a reply within 24 hours.
Col (retd) Rahim told Dawn that the military court recorded testimonies of five prosecution witnesses (PWs) and two defence witnesses during about six months of court martial proceedings.
According to him, out of five PWs only two alleged that Brig Khan was planning to attack key army and civilian buildings and leadership.
He said Major General Aamir Riaz and Major Kashif Saleem, the investigation officer of special investigation branch (SIB) of army, alleged that Brig Khan was planning attacks on top military and civilian leadership.
He said the other PWs — Brig Amin, Brig Amin Sadiq and Major Jawad — did not categorically link his client with the conspiracy.
Col Rahim, however, claimed that defence witness Major General (retd) Zahid Mubashir denied most of the allegations levelled against Brig Khan.
He said Gen Mubashir, who was acting adjutant general till May 3 last year, admitted that he never received reports that Brig Khan was an activist of a banned outfit.
According to him, during a meeting convened on May 4 last year by Lt-Gen Javed Iqbal, adjutant general, on the issue of US raid that killed Osama bin Laden on May 2 last year, Brig Khan expressed serious reservations on the US attack and suggested remedial measures. He said Gen Mubashir, who had attended the meeting, said that he was also upset over the US raid.
The second defence witness was Brig Shahidullah Jan, Cold Rahim said.
According to the investigation report of Major Kashif, Brig Khan with the help of his four military and four civilian accomplices wanted to attack a large gathering, such as a dinner for the formation commanders hosted by the president, the prime minister and the army chief.
The report said Brig Khan, in a discussion about the planned attacks on the GHQ and President’s House, proposed that 300 to 400 officers would take over the two installations. They also planned air strikes on corps commanders’ or formation commanders’ conferences and for this purpose they were arranging an F-16 fighter jet and a Pakistan Air Force pilot had also expressed willingness to carry out the raid.
It said Brig Khan also discussed a new military command that would be put into place after the removal of existing chain of command.
According to his alleged plan, Major General Ashfaq would be made director general military operations, Major General Naseer Janjua chief of general staff, Major General Kaleem Sabir commander of army strategic command and Major General Rafiq Sabir commander 10 corps.