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Detained officer wants to testify in May 2 case

March 24, 2012

ISLAMABAD, March 24: Detained Brigadier Ali Khan, who is facing court martial on charges of treason and having links with the banned Hizbut Tahrir group, requested the Abbottabad commission on Saturday to record his testimony in connection with the May 2 US raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound. The written request submitted to the commission, headed by Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal, said: “Brig Ali Khan wants to make deposition before the commission because it contains very sensitive issues relating to solidarity, integrity and sovereignty of Pakistan.

Therefore, the commission considering (him) the most important witness and the first victim of the (May 2, 2011) incident may summon him.”

The application submitted by the brigadier’s counsel, Col (retd) Inamur Rahim, said the military authorities took Brig Khan into custody on May 5, 2011, three days after the US forces killed the Al Qaeda leader in Abbottabad. The brigadier, it said, had raised some questions and suggested remedial measures to avoid such incursions in future, but the military authorities did not pay any heed to these.

The counsel incorporated with the application the contents of a letter Brig Khan had sent to the army chief much before his arrest in which he said that by accepting other explanations of terrorism, “we have done an irreparable harm to our own long-term interests in Kashmir” and even stopped the moral support for Kashmiri people.

He said: “Rampant insecurity, political polarisation, instability and resultant economic downturn that started alongside the global war on terror and which has now culminated into bewildering crises of all sorts have brought the nation virtually to its knees.

“Economic and military aid as well as political mileage that we proudly boast about have eventually become meaningless when weighed against the price which we have paid.”

Brig Khan said: “Above all, the war created an unbridgeable gulf between the army and the nation. Despite our sacrifices in the war on terror, we continue to hear the off-repeated phrase, ‘do more’.”

He suggested that Pakistan should try to convince the US/Nato forces that the only way to bring peace to Afghanistan is to replace the occupational troops with UN peacekeeping forces, mostly from Muslim countries. If they refuse to do so, he said, Pakistan should cease all operations in its troubled region and pull back forces from there.

“It will help us redeem some of our lost dignity. In the worst case they would bring UN sanctions against us, but we have already experienced such sanctions,” he added.