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.— AFP file photo
.— AFP file photo

ISLAMABAD: A Pakistan Air Force (PAF) officer – who was allegedly detained after applying for premature retirement – has been charged for filing a petition before the Lahore High Court (LHC).

In response to the charges, Squadron Leader Akhtar Abbas has filed another petition with the Rawalpindi bench of the LHC, seeking contempt of court proceedings against the defence secretary and the air force, alleging that they were treating him as an offender for seeking a judicial remedy.

Know more: Three PAF officers go to court seeking early retirement

Mr Abbas had originally filed a petition in the LHC in April of this year after his request for early retirement was turned down by PAF authorities.

However, he was detained soon after filing this petition.

In the petition filed on April 18, Mr Abbas claimed that authorities had approved the early retirement requests of certain well-connected officers, but his request was rejected without any cogent reason.

In the petition, Mr Abbas states that he joined the PAF in 1998 and, under the rules, applied for an early retirement in June of last year.

The petitioner said his wife, who was a Pakistani-American, could not settle in Pakistan because of security issues and other concerns and had taken the couple’s only daughter back to the US about four years ago.

According to the charge-sheet attached with the fresh petition, Mr Abbas was being tried by a Field General Court Martial for various charges, including a charge under Section 65 of the PAF Act, entitled ‘An Act Prejudical To Good Order And Air Force Discipline’.

His crime is that he “while being in the service of PAF, filed a writ petition against the federation of Pakistan and chief of air staff in the LHC’s Rawalpindi bench”.

The charge-sheet also alleges that while in custody, on May 7, Mr Abbas advised another PAF officer, Squadron Leader Zubair Ahmed, to apply for early retirement.

For the charge of referring the avionics engineer from Kamra to a lawyer, Mr Abbas was charged under Section 37(e) of the PAF act, entitled ‘Endeavoring To Seduce A Person In The PAF From His Allegiance To The Government’.

After PAF authorities charged Mr Abbas for moving the court, his counsel, retired Brigadier Wasaf Khan Niazi – who is a former judge advocate general officer - filed the contempt petition, maintaining that the charge for filing a petition in the court was “not only illegal under Article 4 of the Constitution but also amounted to contempt of court within the meaning of Article 204 read with the Contempt of Court Ordinance 2004”.

The petition stated that Mr Abbas raised the objection both orally and in writing before the FGCM, but the court overruled the objection and proceeded to try the defendant.

The petition insists that, “it was for the high court alone to have decided whether the petition was maintainable or otherwise”.

The petition maintains that by charging an officer for filing a petition, “a message is being sent to the PAF … and the armed forces … that they have no fundamental rights/guarantees available to them under the Constitution”.

Published in Dawn, September 27th , 2014


Comments (21) Closed



Muhib Sep 27, 2014 07:03am

Officers of armed forces, please apply en masse for retirement. It is better to live as a free man than serve a feudal country.

Arif Aslam Khan Sep 27, 2014 08:37am

I believe this Officer was rightly charged by PAF, he is not supposed to go to a Civilian Court in regard with his Service matters such as pre-mature retirement because the Armed Forces have their own set of rules which address such matters. It is not his Constitutional right to ask for pre-mature retirement.Our Armed Forces fully ensure Constitutional rights.

kranti Sep 27, 2014 09:47am

You will not get justice brother. I am 100% sure.

Khanm Sep 27, 2014 09:47am

Favoritism in those sensitive institution like Air Force , navy and army is the most disasterious example we are setting. No wonder why people are not loyal to their country. PAT n PTI are right it is time to overhaul the entire institutions of Pakistan. But cannot succeed unless it is supported by the considerable portion of the arm forces. Unfortunately they have been kept loyal by the perks, earlier retirement, early promotions, having defense colonies and god knows what not. They are loyal to to government n not to the country.

Hamza Tauqir Sep 27, 2014 10:03am

This guy should be sentenced to jail after court martial. No act should be allowed that destroys the discipline of armed forces...

Syed Ahmed Sep 27, 2014 10:09am

Redress of Military personal lie with the government of Pakistan and not the civil courts. Did the foolish person obtain governments approval before marrying an American citizen? He should boldly face the Court Martial.

Ahmer Sep 27, 2014 10:10am

This definitely is highhandedness. Every Pakistani has a right to approach a court.

Arun Sep 27, 2014 10:37am

@kranti it's not Indian Airforce,women there have filed sexual harassment cases and no one heard their voice.

sharabi Sep 27, 2014 10:42am

@Hamza Tauqir Everyone have right to ask Justice by legal system, Now i understand why you people do not like Freedom & Democracy. Good for you

Vicmultani Sep 27, 2014 10:45am

The civil courts should stay out of it----they should take excuse and let military handle the issues of the military

Raheel Sep 27, 2014 10:50am

iss mein bhi amreeka ka hath hai ... hahhaha

the lure of immigration

Lolz Sep 27, 2014 03:04pm

@Arif Aslam Khan Your believes are totally wrong.

Jamal Nasir Sep 27, 2014 06:04pm

Under article 8 of constitution of Pakistan personnel of armed discipline forces have no fundamental rights. It has to be so in order to maintain discipline in armed forces. My opinion

Talha W Malik Sep 27, 2014 08:55pm

I personally know Mr. Abbas as course mate and among toppers in class. Irrespective of his will to resign or retire from Air Force. If Armed forces comes under the constitution, then civil courts should not have any powers to entertain the officer’s request against organization. If it’s doing so then there are loopholes which needs to be addressed and answered. Here civil courts and military law seems to be in conflict as they are trying to punish an officer for exploring legal remedy which in every way is a right of every citizen. Court-martial is not a joke or done on anyone’s personal grudges. Only story here is that high ups are trying to punish and trap him by bringing all these cases. Mr. Abbas has so far not done anything on which he can be court-martial-ed may your personal opinion be whatever. Other than that he just lost all his chances of getting promoted which I think he is least interested in. At worst, they may not release him and post him to rough areas for rest of his days in active duty.

pntikoo Sep 27, 2014 09:44pm

Army courts can never deliver justice. He has taken right decision by approaching the civil court which is the only forum to safeguard his constitutional rights.

Ali Sheikh Sep 28, 2014 12:18am

@Arif Aslam Khan ... you are totally wrong ... what if Armed Forces are not fair with some one ? ... he / she has all the rights to approach the Judicial System for redressing his/her grievances ...

Ali Sheikh Sep 28, 2014 12:19am

@Hamza Tauqir ... his superiors are destroying the discipline of the Armed Forces by not giving him fundamental rights that are guaranteed to every citizen by the Constitution ... you are wrong by saying that this guy is destroying the discipline ...

Ali Sheikh Sep 28, 2014 12:22am

@Jamal Nasir ... so they are slaves ? or mercenaries ? ... you are wrong sir ...

M. Emad Sep 28, 2014 12:23am

PAF pilot was most sought-after job in Pakistan in the 60's -70's. Now PAF officers want to escape, want premature retirement !

Ali Sheikh Sep 28, 2014 12:32am

most of the people commenting here are totally ignorant of the facts ... my friends, the constitution of Pakistan is the supreme law ... and it guarantees Fundamental rights to all citizens ... so, anyone who feels aggrieved by his/here organization ( including the Armed Forces ) can go to the courts for justice ...

Mirza Asad Baig Oct 02, 2014 01:09am

Let him go. Why force people into something they no longer want to pursue. He joined of his own free will, and wants to leave through proper procedure. Let him be relieved as per prevailing administrative processes.