RAWALPINDI: Brigadier Ali Khan, who was court martialed for having links with a banned organisation after American Navy Seals raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound on May 2, 2011, has petitioned Lahore High Court (LHC) Rawalpindi, claiming to have vital information on the raid.
In the petition, Brig Ali has requested the court to provide him an opportunity to appear in person so he could explain his position.
Brig Ali has also written letters to President Asif Ali Zardari and Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and is presently incarcerated in Adiala jail.
Brig Ali along with four other officers was court martialed after the May 2 raid for having links with Hizbut Tahrir (HuT), an organisation that is against the US occupation of Afghanistan and propagates the setting up of a pan-Islamic caliphate.
The field general court martial (FGCM) on August 3, 2012 convicted Brig Ali Khan, Maj Sohail Akbar, Maj Jawad Baseer, Maj Inayat Aziz and Maj Iftikhar for having links with HuT and awarded rigorous imprisonment (RI) ranging from 18 months to five years.
Brig Ali on February 2012, through his lawyer Col (retired) Inamur Rahim, had filed an application with the LHC requesting the court to arrange his presence during the hearing of the case because he wanted to share with the court some vital information regarding his petition filed against his detention and court martial proceedings.
Advocate Rahim, the counsel for Brig Ali after filing the application, told Dawn that in addition to briefing the court about his own case, Brig Ali would share information related to May 2 incident (Abbottabad raid) with the court.
According to the counsel, the convicted officer is facing imprisonment because the army authorities fabricated a false case against him after he openly criticised the US operation on Pakistani soil.
Abbottabad commission’s indifference
The counsel said that Brig Ali, on September 2012, had requested the Abbottabad commission headed by Justice (retired) Javed Iqbal to record his testimony in connection with the May 2 incident but was not facilitated.
According to the counsel, Brig Ali was a direct victim of the Abbottabad operation because military authorities arrested him on May 5, 2011, after he raised questions about the raid and also suggested remedial measures to avoid such incidents in future.
Letters to President and COAS
The counsel said that for the case the court would arrange Brig Ali’s presence on the next date of hearing — to be decided by the court — where he would reveal the content of his letters which he sent to the president and COAS.
In the letters sent before his arrest, Brig Ali had suggested ending the war against terror and bridging the gap between the army and people.
He wrote: “Senseless blood-letting, permanent dissensions, bitter alienations and badly bruised national pride — there is nothing that comforts our soul. Rampant insecurity, political polarisation, instability and resultant economic downturn that started alongside the Global War on Terror (GWOT) and which culminated in a crisis of sorts have brought the nation virtually to its knees.”
The brigadier further wrote: “Our friends (allied powers) succeeded in creating differences between Pakistan and Muslim countries in general and with Afghanistan and Iran in particular — as our borders with both the countries are no longer safe. Above all the war created an unbridgeable gulf between the army and the nation.”
In his letters he suggested that instead of continuing with Pakistan’s current policy, policymakers should persuade US/Nato forces that the only way to bring peace in Afghanistan is to change the US/Nato forces with peacekeeping forces from Muslim countries under UN aegis.
In case US/Nato refuses to do so, Pakistan should cease all operations in the troubled area (tribal areas bordering Afghanistan).
The registrar office of LHC Rawalpindi bench accepted the petition and the court will examine the request of Brig Ali for providing him an opportunity to appear in person next week.
Curtsy to Dawn.com