Pakistan army has confirmed on Tuesday that one of its brigadiers posted at the General Headquarters was under detention on suspicion of links with an extremist group.
Brig Ali Khan, who was serving as director for rules and regulations at the army headquarters, was held by the military’s Special Investigation Branch on May 6, four days after Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was killed in a covert American raid in Abbottabad, for suspected ties with Hizbut Tehrir (HT) — a group that has been calling for a rebellion against pro-US leaders.
He is the senior-most army officer yet to be arrested for extremist links. Before his GHQ posting, Brig Khan served as a commander in Azad Jummu and Kashmir.
The officer had received training in the USA and was set to retire soon was earlier dropped for promotion because of his extremist leanings and sympathies.
A defence source claimed that a lieutenant-colonel who worked under Brig Khan had also been detained but another official told the colonel’s arrest was not directly linked to Brig Khan’s case.
The confirmation by ISPR of the brigadier’s detention has come at a time when, in the aftermath of the Osama's killing, some elements in the armed forces are being accused of being in collusion with extremists and militants.
For now, Inter-Services Public Relations officials is ruling out his involvement with Taliban or Al Qaeda so far.