Pak: Army brigadier conspired to create caliphate

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 7, 2012 - 13:59

Islamabad: A Pakistan Army brigadier facing
court martial on charges of plotting to topple the democratic
government had met a senior commander of the banned
Hizb-ut-Tahrir while conspiring to create an Islamic
caliphate, a prosecution witness has said.

Brigadier (retired) Ali Khan, who was arrested last year
and has been accused of plotting to mount an attack on the
army`s General Headquarters, met the HuT`s chief for
Palestine, Maj Gen Amir Riaz has said in a statement.

According to sources, Riaz`s statement said Khan had
disclosed that HuT had prepared a new constitution and a
shadow government for Pakistan and that the group was ready to
take over at any time.

Army authorities had earlier said that Khan had contacted
Riaz as part of his alleged efforts to get other military
officers to join him in a mutiny.

Riaz is the head of the Rawalpindi-based 111 Brigade,
which has played a key role in military coups in the past.

Riaz, who was recently promoted to the rank of major
general, has been made a prosecution witness against Khan.

Riaz said in his statement that Khan had expressed
distrust in Pakistan`s incumbent civil and military leadership
a few months ago and called for establishing an Islamic
caliphate.

According to the documents produced by the prosecution,
Khan allegedly told his former colleagues that he had friends
in the HuT and that he had met the group`s chief for the
Palestinian territory.

"Brig Ali told me that HuT could establish a real
caliphate which could also ensure good governance in Pakistan.

He also told me that HuT has prepared an alternative
constitution and a shadow government which could take over any
time," Riaz said.

Khan believed that the HuT could establish a caliphate in
Pakistan only if the military handed over power to the group,
said Riaz.

This was not possible until the incumbent military
leadership was removed, he said.

Riaz said he knew his former colleague Khan as an
emotional person but that his remarks could not be brushed
aside as emotionalism.

In his statement, Riaz further said that Khan had told
him that some elements in the Pakistan Air Force were part of
the HuT`s conspiracy and they would mount an air strike on
General Headquarters with F-16 fighter jets during a Corps
Commanders` conference to eliminate the army`s top commanders.

He further claimed that Khan had asked him to take over
key buildings in Islamabad following the planned air strike.

Riaz said he had turned down Khan`s offer to become part
of the conspiracy.

After being disappointed with Riaz, Khan tried to recruit
other army officers, the statement said.

Khan seemed to be in a hurry to execute his plot because
his retirement was nearing, it added.

Khan`s family has denied the charges against him.

Following the US raid that killed Osama bin Laden in May
last year, the HuT had distributed pamphlets in cantonments
asking soldiers and officers to rise up against the army
leadership.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, March 7, 2012 - 13:59

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