Pakistani army officer arrested over militant links

08:26, June 22, 2011      

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A senior Pakistani army officer has been taken into custody for his alleged connections with a banned militant group, the army spokesman said Tuesday.

Brigadier Ali Khan had been serving at the army's General Headquarters in Rawalpindi on a key position and was arrested in May, said army spokesman Major General Athar Abbas.

Earlier the BBC Urdu website quoted the army spokesman as saying that investigation into his links with an outlawed group is underway. The spokesman avoided giving more details saying it can affect the investigation.

Sources close to Brig. Ali family said that he did not return home on May 6 and the family was told that "Brigadier has been stopped for some questions and would soon reach home."

A senior army officer told the BBC Urdu website on condition of anonymity that no formal charge sheet has been framed against Brig. Ali but the army's Special Investigation Branch (SIB) is holding inquiry into his links with extremists.

The SIB is known for investigation into serious and sensitive matters within the army.

Family of the detained army officer is reluctant to take to the media and is also unwilling to approach the court.

The family hoped that because of Ali's three-decade service in the army he would be freed.

His father had been a junior Commissioned Officer in the army and his younger brother is a colonel and is performing in a key intelligence agency. His son-in-law and son are also captains in the army.

The report quoted an unnamed officer as saying that the army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani had personally ordered his arrest.

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