Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Mirza Aslam Beg does not believe that
Brigadier Ali Khan and four other officers have been arrested on the grounds of
having contacts with a banned organization, the Hizb-ut-Tehrir. "There are some
other reasons behind these arrests, which, the present army leadership is
concealing," he told The News, a leading newspaper of Pakistan.
Interestingly, BBC Urdu's Asif Farooqi Brigadier Ali Khan, reports that Brigadier Ali Khan had been highly critical of the Pakistani army's high command over its relationship with the US.
colleagues of Brig Ali Khan were quoted by the BBC as saying that he was an
officer with a distinguished career, a gold-medallist who was consistently
promoted. But he had been exerting strong pressure on the top echelons of Pakistan's
military to stop co-operating with American forces in the fight against Taliban
and al-Qaeda insurgents, army officers who served with the brigadier during his
32-year career told the BBC.
brigadier joined the army in 1979 and came from a humble background in Pakistan's Punjab
province. But his career hit a roadblock when he openly criticized Gen Pervez
Musharraf when he was still army chief-of-staff, the BBC said adding:
"At an army course at a prestigious military college in Quetta, Brig Khan asked Gen Musharraf why he would not divulge the details of an agreement with the US to the Pakistani public. The brigadier also said the "limits" of co-operation with the US on "the war on terror" should be clearly defined. A senior military officer who was present at the occasion told the BBC that Gen Musharraf was clearly unhappy with the questions, and had asked around about the officer. A few weeks later, the army promotion board held its regular meeting under Gen Musharraf. Brig Ali, who had been tipped for promotion to major general, was passed over. Successive promotion boards rejected Brig Ali while his colleagues and subordinates continued to rise up the promotion ladder, overtaking him. Indeed, to date, Brig Khan is the oldest brigadier in the Pakistani army.
"His colleagues thought he would be unable to withstand a career going nowhere and would seek early retirement. But they were soon proved wrong. The brigadier told his colleagues he had more to accomplish in his job. It soon became clear what he meant by that. Brig Khan started writing letters to army generals, some of whom were his former colleagues, with suggestions on how to become "self reliant" and "to purge the army of the American influence".
to BBC Grid Ali khan told senior officers such as Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kayani that
"unconditional" support to the Americans was causing resentment in
the lower ranks of the army. He said that "growing" American
involvement in Pakistan
- especially in its military affairs - was negatively affecting the morale of
the armed forces. An officer who received one of these letters said that after
coming to know that Gen Kayani wanted this sort of correspondence to end, he
spoke with his former colleague and politely told him to refrain from annoying
the senior leadership. "But Ali wouldn't listen to us. He thought his
input was necessary to save the institution he was serving and loved," the
even wrote to the President Asif Ali Zardari suggesting ways to make Pakistan
economically self-reliant by freeing the country of American aid. Khan urged
him to abolish the perks and privileges given to senior civil and military
Osama Bin Laden episode, he was invited to a meeting on May 5 by his former
student and now his boss, Lieutenant General Javed Iqbal at the army headquarters
the BBC report said. The question that officers were asked at this meeting was
how to pursue an inquiry into the May 2 US commando operation in Abbottabad
allegedly killing Osama Bin Laden.
present in the meeting was quoted as saying that all had been going well until
it was Brig Khan's turn to speak. In his opinion, "the culprits who had hidden
Bin Laden' and allowed the Americans to get away with breaching Pakistan's
sovereignty were to be found within the army. Gen Javed Iqbal was furious at
the end of the meeting. As it turned out, Brig Khan's views were not those of a
lone wolf - he had managed to persuade some of his fellow officers of the
veracity of his case. Gen Iqbal promptly told the corps commanders what had
happened the following day at a meeting chaired by Gen Kayani. That same
evening Brig Khan was arrested.
The BBC quoted army officials as saying that the problem is that his anti-American views and opinions on self reliance were getting popular with middle and lower ranking officers.
the findings of two Pew Research Center
surveys of April and May 2011 reflected widespread anti-Americanism in Pakistan. The
recent wave of the anti-Americanism, started with the arrest and thereafter
release of CIA agent Raymond Davis, who in the broad day light killed two
Pakistanis. The incident of May 2, 2011, and attack on PNS Mehran, destroying
the surveillance aircrafts (P-3C Orion) have further fuelled this hatred.
"Brigadier held for links
with CIA-backed militants"
to the Nation, Brigadier Ali Khan, who was appointed at the Regulation
Directorate in GHQ back in May 2009, came under the surveillance radar of
Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI) earlier this
year. After almost six months of surveillance, the ISI and MI in a joint
operation, picked up the brigadier from outside his residence. The intelligence
authorities reportedly ran a check on him after some "suspicious' people were
found frequently visiting his home. The call records of Khan's cell phone
confirmed the suspicions of intelligence agencies.
quoted sources as saying that Brigadier Ali Khan was linked to the section of
militants that had direct ties with the Central Investigation Agency (CIA) and
the military intelligence agencies arrested him to probe this connection.
Ali Khan was detained last month but his arrest was announced only on Tuesday.
Military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas told Reuters on Wednesday that the
four majors had been questioned but had not been detained. "They are being
questioned in relation to the brigadier case," he said.