Islamabad: A brigadier serving at Pakistani
army`s General Headquarters in Rawalpindi has been taken into
custody for alleged links with a banned militant group, the
chief military spokesman said on Tuesday.
Brigadier Ali Khan, who was detained recently, is being
questioned by army authorities, spokesman Maj Gen Athar Abbas
told the media.
Khan`s detention was first reported by BBC Urdu, which
said the officer had been serving in the Regulation
Directorate of the General Headquarters for two years and went
missing one-and-a-half months ago.
Abbas said the investigation into Khan`s links with an
outlawed militant group was underway.
He avoided giving details, saying it could affect the
Khan allegedly had links with the banned Hizb-ut-Tehrir
and was reportedly involved in a plot to attack the Shamsi
airbase in Balochistan, sources said.
Reports have said that US drones operate from Shamsi
airbase, but Pakistani authorities have denied them.
BBC quoted an unnamed officer as saying that army chief
Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani had personally ordered Khan`s arrest.
Sources close to Khan`s family told BBC Urdu that he had
not returned home on May 6.
The family was then told that Khan had been stopped for
questioning and "would soon reach home."
A senior army officer told BBC on condition of anonymity
that no formal chargesheet had been framed against Khan but
the army`s Special Investigation Branch (SIB) is conducting an
inquiry into his links with Islamic extremists.
The SIB usually conducts investigations into serious and
sensitive matters within the army.
Khan`s family was reluctant to talk to the media and also
unwilling to approach the courts.
The family was hopeful that Khan would be freed due to
his three decades of service in the army, BBC reported.
The brigadier`s father was a junior commissioned officer
in the Pakistan army and his younger brother is a Colonel
working with a key intelligence agency.
Khan`s son and son-in-law are Captains in the army.
There have been several reports in recent years about
efforts by the Hizb-ut-Tehrir to infiltrate Pakistan`s armed
Shortly after the US raid that killed al Qaeda chief
Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad on May 2, the Hizb-ut-Tehrir
distributed pamphlets in military cantonments that called on
army officers to establish an Islamic caliphate.
"It is a slap in the respected officers` faces that on
May 2, American helicopters intruded in the dark of night and
barged into a house like thieves...
"It could not have been possible without the acquiescence
of your high officials," a media report quoted the pamphlet as