Pak Colonel among 3 to face court-martial for `spying`

Last Updated: Thursday, December 10, 2009 - 16:18

Islamabad: Pakistani military is set to launch the court-martial of a Colonel and two ex-armed forces personnel on charges of spying, including leaking secrets of the Shamsi Air Force base to those planning to attack it, and inciting fellow soldiers to commit acts of terrorism.
The court-martial of Col Shahid Bashir, Nadeem Ahmad Shah, a former air force pilot who is now an advocate, and Awais Ali Khan, an engineer who resigned from military two years ago, will get underway in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) tomorrow, BBC Urdu reported.

The three men were arrested by the military intelligence in Rawalpindi in May.

Their families told BBC that they had been informed that the three men will face court martial proceedings for spying.

Chief military spokesman Maj Gen Athar Abbas said he was aware that some persons were being investigated for spying but he did not have any knowledge about the court-martial.

The three men are currently in army`s custody in Kotli district of PoK but there was no official word on allegations levelled against them.

BBC quoted its sources as saying that they had been accused of leaking secrets about the Pakistan Air Force base at Shamsi in Balochistan and inciting army officers to commit
acts of terrorism.

Former army chief Gen Mirza Aslam Beg had claimed a few months ago that the Shamsi airbase is being used by the US for drone flights to strike targets in Pakistan`s tribal areas.

The court-martial will be conducted by court headed by a brigadier under the provisions of the Army Act.

If the accused are convicted, they could be given the death sentence.

According to details of the charges provided to the families of the three men, Col Shahid Bashir of the Army Engineering Corps has been charged with leaking secrets of Shamsi airbase to persons who were planning to attack the facility.

Bashir hails from Faisalabad and investigators have probed his alleged links to the Hizbut Tehrir group.

Nadeem Ahmad Shah, a former PAF pilot and now a lawyer, is an active member of Rawalpindi Bar.

Awais Ali Khan returned to Pakistan in 2002 after securing a mechanical engineer`s degree from the US.

He is a green card holder and has an American wife. He served with the military`s Air Weapons Complex but resigned two years ago. Since then, he has been running his own factory.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, December 10, 2009 - 16:18

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