Bangladesh hangs Mujib’s killers 30 yrs after his death

Press Trust of India – Bangladesh has hanged the five ex-Army officers convicted of assassinating the country’s founder, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, almost 35 years after he was killed in a military coup. The five death row convicts were hanged past midnight (local time), hours after the Supreme Court rejected their review plea, jail officials said.

Ex-Lieutenant Colonel Mohiuddin Ahmed (artillery) and ex-Major Bazlul Huda were hanged first as the execution process started late on Wednesday while ex-Lieutenant Colonel Syed Faruq Rahman was the third to be executed minutes later. Ex-lieutenant colonels Shahriar Rashid Khan and AKM Mohiuddin Ahmed (lancer) were the last to walk to the gallows.

The entire execution process took just 40 minutes, though it took 35 years to bring them to justice for the August 15, 1975, assassination of the former president along with most of his family members.

Mujib was killed along with his wife and three sons, including 10-year-old Russel. His daughters, PM Sheikh Hasina and her younger sister Sheikh Rehana, survived as they were abroad at the time.

Six others condemned for the killing are still on the run though Bangladesh has launched a diplomatic campaign engaging the Interpol to bring them home.

Jail officials said Dhaka’s district magistrate and deputy commissioner Zillar Rahman, civil surgeon Dr Mushfiqur Rahman and additional district magistrate Avijit Sarkar entered the jail before midnight along with Inspector General of Prisons Brigadier General Ashraful Islam, as their presence were required during the hanging. They said Home Secretary Abdus Sobhan Sikdar and Dhaka’s police commissioner A K M Shahidul Haque also came to the jail just ahead of execution.

Elite anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) troops, armed police battalion and plainclothesmen took positions around the jail complex reinforcing the regular police.

Witnesses said a police van reached the jail gate carrying five coffins while another van came to the scene with two wooden bedsteads that were likely to be used for ablution of the bodies after the execution.

Hundreds crowded the streets outside the jail with many chanting slogans demanding executions. Witnesses said five ambulances arrived at the scene to carry the bodies. The bodies would be handed over to the relatives of the ex-Army officers.

Courtesy: The Indian Express

http://m.indianexpress.com/news/%22bangladesh-hangs-mujibs-killers-30-yrs-after-his-death%22/572752/

Pakistan – the plot thicken even more for the military, this is a very serious development

Brig Ali approaches Abbottabad commission to record statement: Sources

By Sumera Khan

ISLAMABAD: Brigadier (retd) Ali Khan – who is accused of conspiring to overthrow the government and currently facing court martial proceedings – sent a request to the Abbottabad commission to record his testimony and to make revelations pertaining to the Kargil Operation and the 1999 military coup, sources have revealed.

Sources have said that Brig Ali has requested the Abbottabad commission to allow him to appear in a hearing as he has sensitive information pertaining to national security, which he think should be shared with them. He has, in his written request, stated that he is the one who was most affected by the May 2 raid in which Osama bin Laden was killed.

The application from Brig Ali had been sent though courier dispatch by his family.

Brig Ali, who is accused of having links with Hizb-ut-Tahrir (HuT), had earlier claimed that the court martial is to malign him because he had asked the military brass to fix responsibility for the May 2 raid. Charges of planning an air raid on the General Headquarters using F-16s had also earlier been dropped.

Courtesy: The Express Tribune

http://tribune.com.pk/story/354493/brig-ali-approaches-abbottabad-commission-to-record-statement/

Let’s Talk Civil-Military, NOW!

By Marvi Sirmed

Atiqa Odho needs to change her name. Not only her name but also the prefix if she wants to avoid further humiliation that she possibly could not and would not want, just because she is a woman and does not bear the right prefix before her name. Brigadier Zafar Iqbal had both — the right name and the right prefix.

The good brigadier embarked on a PIA flight from Karachi to Lahore on Saturday night, intoxicated with the ‘sherbet’. The captain of the plane handed him over to the Airport Security Force (ASF) after the brigadier publicly harassed one of the female crew members. The ASF, obviously, could not hold him for more than a few minutes when they discovered the full name of the detainee. No wonder the news item merited just a few lines in Sunday newspapers. I am still waiting for the ‘suo motu’ and media-panic that we saw in Atiqa Odho’s case. Pertinent to remind here, Ms Odho was neither drunk nor did she harass anyone on the flight.

This points to two serious maladies of this society: one, a strong gender bias that women of this country have to endure everywhere, including the courts; and two, unjust and unfair partiality that society confers on the military. It is not only about an overly powerful military but also about an extremely weak civil society. It would be naïve to believe that civil society in Pakistan is powerful enough to foil any attempt to usurp power from the civilian entities. This is mainly because the military here never departed from power. Irrespective of who occupied the buildings of the Prime Minister Secretariat and the Presidency, the military always ruled in the country through its incontrovertible influence over political decision-making and social phenomena.

The way things happen in the court, and outside of it, memo scandal is a case in point. In the memo scandal, Husain Haqqani was treated as an accused by the media and society at large because the military thought so. Everything else had to be in sync with what the military wanted or at least, was perceived to be wanting. The same ‘evidence’ (the BBM conversations claimed by Mansoor Ijaz that took place between him and Husain Haqqani) implicated the head of the ISI who was accused in the same BBM conversations to have spoken to the leaders of some Arab states and gotten their consent to sack the present government. But no one from the media, politicians (even the ones who portray themselves as most committed to civilian supremacy) and the judiciary could ever point a finger towards General Pasha, the accused. Husain Haqqani was an easy target because he was not a general. Or even a brigadier.

Later, the chief of army staff and the head of ISI submitted their affidavits in clear departure of the government’s point of view — the same government that both of them are accountable to. The prime minister was openly criticised by everyone for calling this action of the two generals as unconstitutional. So much so that the media wing of the Pakistan Army, the ISPR, attacked the prime minister — their boss — by issuing a strongly worded statement warning the government of grave consequences and serious ramifications. So there were two statements, one by the chief executive of a country castigating his subordinate generals for unconstitutional actions, and the other from the subordinate generals threatening their boss with grave consequences. Guess who had to retract the statement? You got it right, it was the boss. The Islamic Republic is unique in its construction.

What can be more worrying for a people whose representative is humiliated by an agency that should be subordinate to the people. The agency, it is more perturbing, does so with popular consent. The absence of popular outrage amounts to consent if one could decrypt public reactions. We can go on endlessly criticising hungry-for-power generals, selfish politicians, corporate media and an ambitious judiciary, but what remains a fact is Pakistani society’s utter failure — rather refusal — to grow from a Praetorian state to even a half decent egalitarian democracy.

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Unfortunately, “The Nation” forgot to mention that this drunk man who was caught harassing the air hostess, is a serving Brigadier of Pak army

Man held for ‘misbehaving with airhostess

By: Israr Ahmad

RAWALPINDI – A passenger was arrested by Airport Security Forces (ASF) for misbehaving with an airhostess, as she stopped him from smoking in the plane here on Saturday.

The arrested passenger, a resident of Kotli Satian, was being interrogated by the ASF while police have also been called by Benazir Bhutto Islamabad International Airport (BBIIA) management. As per details, the flight of Pakistan International Airline (PIA) PK-308 was coming from Karachi to Islamabad when a passenger lit a cigarette in the plane. The airhostess, Sanan Arbaz, barred him from smoking in the flight which made the passenger angry and he started misbehaving with the airhostess.

The flight staffers also tried to stop the passenger from misbehaving with airhostess but in vain. On this the pilot of the flight informed ASF, which took the passenger into custody after landing the flight.

Courtesy: The Nation

http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/national/17-Apr-2011/Man-held-for-misbehaving-with-airhostess

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For more details » Marvi Sirmad » Baaghi

Via – Twitter

Bangladesh Army says it foiled a coup via Facebook

- Intelligence sources say the Bangladesh coup attempt last month was fueled by retired officers campaigning to introduce sharia law. The news raises concern about political instability in the region.

By Anis Ahmed, Reuters

Dhaka: Bangladesh’s Army said on Thursday it had foiled a coup attempt by retired and serving officers last month that intelligence sources said was driven by a campaign to introduce sharia law throughout the majority Muslim country.

Army intelligence discovered that Major Ziaul Haque had fled the barracks and was contacting fellow officers and ex-officers through Facebook and by cellphone to encourage them to join the plot, Brigadier General Muhammad Masud Razzaq said.

“Specific information has been unearthed that some officers in military service have been involved in the conspiracy to topple the system of democratic governance,” he told reporters.

He said around 16 former and active officers were involved. Some had been detained and would appear before a military court.

Impoverished Bangladesh has a history of coups, with army generals running the South Asian nation for 15 years until the end of 1990.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina took power in early 2009 and has since faced threats from Islamist and other radical groups.

A revolt in the country’s paramilitary forces in February 2009 started in Dhaka and spread to a dozen other cities, killing more than 70 people, including 51 army officers. The revolt was quelled after two days but the country has since been shadowed by fears of further uprisings.

Sources in the army said the coup attempt was made late last month. “The attempt has been effectively controlled and now the process is on to punish the culprits,” one military official said.

Intelligence sources said the coup attempt was fuelled by a retired officer and associates in active service who were campaigning to introduce sharia law.

Intelligence officers also said it appeared to have been planned over weeks or months by officers having close links with what they described as religious fanatics within and outside the military. ….

Read more » CSMONITOR.COM

NDTV – Musharraf, Kayani knew about Osama’s whereabouts: Ex-Pak army chief

Washington: Pakistani military had harboured Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden with the knowledge of former president General Pervez Musharraf, ex-army chief General Ziauddin Butt has said.

An article on the Jamestown Foundation website, which cited Butt, said that despite denials, evidence is emerging that “elements within the Pakistani military harboured Osama with the knowledge of Musharraf and Kayani”. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani is the current army chief.

Ziauddin Butt, a former chief of the Pakistan army, told a conference on Pakistani-US ties in October that according to his knowledge, then director general of Intelligence Bureau, Brigadier (retd.) Ijaz Shah, had “kept Osama bin Laden in an Intelligence Bureau safe house in Abbottabad”.

Osama bin Laden was gunned down May 2 by US commandos who mounted a daring operation using stealth helicopters.

Read more at: http://www.ndtv.com/article/world/musharraf-kayani-knew-about-osama-s-whereabouts-ex-pak-army-chief-160512&cp

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» YouTube

Former Pakistan Army Chief Reveals Intelligence Bureau Harbored Bin Laden in Abbottabad

By: Arif Jamal

In spite of denials by the Pakistani military, evidence is emerging that elements within the Pakistani military harbored Osama bin Laden with the knowledge of former army chief General Pervez Musharraf and possibly current Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani. Former Pakistani Army Chief General Ziauddin Butt (a.k.a. General Ziauddin Khawaja) revealed at a conference on Pakistani-U.S. relations in October 2011 that according to his knowledge the then former Director-General of Intelligence Bureau of Pakistan (2004 – 2008), Brigadier Ijaz Shah (Retd.), had kept Osama bin Laden in an Intelligence Bureau safe house in Abbottabad. In the same address, he revealed that the ISI had helped the CIA to track him down and kill on May 1. The revelation remained unreported for some time because some intelligence officers had asked journalists to refrain from publishing General Butt’s remarks. [1] No mention of the charges appeared until right-wing columnist Altaf Hassan Qureshi referred to them in an Urdu-language article that appeared on December 8. [2]

In a subsequent and revealing Urdu-language interview with TV channel Dawn News, General Butt repeated the allegation on December 11, saying he fully believed that “[Brigadier] Ijaz Shah had kept this man [Bin Laden in the Abbottabad compound] with the full knowledge of General Pervez Musharraf… Ijaz Shah was an all-powerful official in the government of General Musharraf.” [3] Asked whether General Kayani knew of this, he first said yes, but later reconsidered: “[Kayani] may have known – I do not know – he might not have known.” [4] The general’s remarks appeared to confirm investigations by this author in May 2011 that showed that the Abbottabad compound where bin Laden was captured and killed was being used by a Pakistani intelligence agency (see Terrorism Monitor, May 5). However, General Butt failed to explain why Bin Laden was not discovered even after Brigadier Shah and General Musharraf had left the government.

General Butt was the first head of the Strategic Plans Division of the Pakistan army and the Director General of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) under Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister of Pakistan from 1990 to 1993, and again from 1997 to 1999. Sharif promoted General Ziauddin Butt to COAS after forcibly retiring General Pervez Musharraf on October 12, 1999, but the army’s top brass revolted against the decision and arrested both Prime Minister Sharif and General Butt while installing Musharraf as the nation’s new chief executive, a post he kept as a chief U.S. ally until resigning in 2008 in the face of an impending impeachment procedure.

Brigadier Shah has been known or is alleged to have been involved in several high profile cases of terrorism. The Brigadier was heading the ISI bureau in Lahore when General Musharraf overthrew Prime Minister Sharif in October 1999. Later, General Musharraf appointed Shah as Home Secretary in Punjab. As an ISI officer he was also the handler for Omar Saeed Sheikh, who was involved in the kidnapping of Wall Street Journal journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002. [5] Omar Saeed Sheikh surrendered to Brigadier Shah who hid him for several weeks before turning him over to authorities. In February 2004, Musharraf appointed Shah as the new Director of the Intelligence Bureau, a post he kept until March 2008 (Daily Times [Lahore] February 26, 2004; Dawn [Karachi] March 18, 2008). The late Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto accused Brigadier Shah, among others, of hatching a conspiracy to assassinate her (The Friday Times [Lahore], February 18-24).

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the Pakistani top military brass had serious differences on several issues. One of the most serious of these concerned Pakistan’s relations with Osama bin Laden. However, the disastrous1999 Kargil conflict in Kashmir overshadowed all of these. General Butt says that Prime Minister Sharif had decided to cooperate with the United States and track down Bin Laden in 1999. [6] According to a senior adviser to the Prime Minister, the general staff ousted Sharif to scuttle the “get-Osama” plan, among other reasons: “The evidence is that the military regime abandoned that plan.” [7] General Butt corroborates this. In his latest interview, he says that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had constituted a special task force of 90 American-trained commandos to track down Bin Laden in Afghanistan. If the Sharif government had continued on this course, this force would likely have caught Bin Laden by December 2001, but the plan was aborted by Ziauddin Butt’s successor as ISI general director, Lieutenant General Mahmud Ahmed. [8]

Arif Jamal is an independent security and terrorism expert and author of “Shadow War – The Untold Story of Jihad in Kashmir.”

Courtesy » TheJamesTown.Org

http://www.jamestown.org/programs/gta/single/?tx_ttnews[tt_news]=38819&cHash=b3da5dd4a1af2664ec4821b405dae77b

Pakistan’s army: Divided it stands

by Pervez Hoodbhoy in Economic and Political Weekly

Although the army has been extremely reluctant to admit that radicalisation exists within its ranks, sometimes this fact simply cannot be swept under the rug. Last week, the army was forced to investigate Brigadier Ali Khan for his ties to militants of the Hizb ut-Tahrir, a radical organisation that seeks to establish a global caliphate and thinks its mission should begin from nuclear Pakistan. The highest ranking officer so far arrested, Ali Khan, comes from a family with three generations of military service and is said to have a strong professional record. It is said that General Ashfaq Kayani was reluctant to take this step in spite of incontrovertible proof that Khan had militant connections because he feared the backlash. Four army majors are also currently being investigated, but this could be just the tip of an iceberg. …

Courtesy » epw  → 3quarksdaily

Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Altaf Hussain & MQM

Leader of the opposition, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Altaf Hussain & MQM.

via → ChagataiKhanYouTube

The radicalization of Pakistan’s military

By Fareed Zakaria

Excerpt:

Whatever their strength, American troops will not determine success in Afghanistan. Nor will the newly formed Afghan National Army. As U.S. forces are gradually withdrawn over the next three years, it is Pakistan’s 600,000-strong army that will become the dominant military force in the region and will try to shape its future. But that military is undergoing a deep internal crisis of identity, its most serious since Pakistan’s founding in 1947. How it resolves this crisis will determine its future, the future of the Afghan war — and much else.This week’s news that a Pakistani brigadier general has been arrested for his ties to a radical Islamist group, Hizb ut-Tahrir, is only the latest in series of events that have rocked that nation. In the past year, two senior Pakistani officials have been gunned down, one by his own security guard. Last month, well-armed militants attacked a key naval base in Karachi, an operation that required inside assistance. Also last month, a brave Pakistani journalist, Syed Saleem Shahzad, who detailed the growing extremist presence within the Pakistani military, was tortured and killed, almost certainly by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence directorate (which denied the allegation). And then there is the case of Osama bin Laden, who was for years comfortably ensconced in an army town.

Pakistan’s military has traditionally been seen as a secular and disciplined organization. But the evidence is now overwhelming that it has been infiltrated at all levels by violent Islamists, including Taliban and al-Qaeda sympathizers.

There is also strong evidence of a basic shift in the attitude of the Pakistani military. Last month, Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, was invited to speak at the country’s National Defense University. Addressing a large gathering of officers, Haqqani asked the audience, “What is the principal national security threat to Pakistan?” He offered three categories: “from within [Pakistan],” “India,” and, “the United States.” A plurality voted for the third option. …..

….. Pakistan is drifting into a strategic black hole. Does the country really think its best path forward is as an adversary of the United States, currying favor with militants and becoming a vassal of China? Are its role models North Korea and Burma? Or does it want to crush the jihadist movements that are destroying the country, join the global economy, reform its society and become a real democracy? These are the questions Pakistan has to ask itself. The United States, for its part, having disbursed $20 billion in aid to Pakistan in the past decade — most of it to the military — needs to ask some questions of its own.

To read complete article: The Washington Post

Banned group wanted Pakistan coup to make world Islamic

By Amir Mir

ISLAMABAD: Those questioning Brigadier Ali Khan and several majors of the Pakistan Army for their jehadi links believe the radicalised armymen had a violent agenda to overthrow the government and remove the current military leadership, for their pro-American stance, through a coup.

Investigations being conducted by the authorities following the arrest of over a dozen officers of Pakistan Army for their links with Hizbul Tehrir have revealed that the leadership of the banned group had actually marked Pakistan as a base from which it wanted to spread Islamic rule across the world.

The group recruits members from the urban, educated and professional segments of the society and is also known to have spread its influence in the military ranks in recent years. Hizbul Tehrir has managed to maintain its presence in Pakistan despite being banned following the July 7, 2007 London subway suicide bombings, conducted by four British nationals of the Pakistani origin who were indoctrinated by extremists belonging to militant groups like Al-Mohajiroun and Hizbul Tehrir. …

Read more: → DNA

via Wichaar

Islamists break Pakistan’s military ranks – By Amir Mir

ISLAMABAD – The arrest of Brigadier Ali Khan, a senior officer of the Pakistan army, for his alleged ties to Hizbul Tehrir (HuT), a banned Islamic militant group believed to be working in tandem with al-Qaeda under the garb of pan-Islamism, has brought into the open conflicting Islamists and reformists ideologies that have split the military’s rank and file for a decade.

Pakistani armed forces spokesman Major General Athar Abbas confirmed Khan has been arrested due to his links to the HuT and was being interrogated by the Special Investigation Branch of the Military Intelligence. The brigadier, who had been posted at the General Headquarters (GHQ) of the army in the garrison town of Rawalpindi, was taken into custody on May 6, hardly three days after the May 2 killing of al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden in a US military raid in Abbottabad. …

Read more:→ ASIA TIMES ONLINE

How serious are Pakistan’s latest moves to purge its military of extremists?

By Issam Ahmed

Lahore, Pakistan: The Pakistani Army is interrogating four army majors in connection with a brigadier who was arrested last month for links to the global Islamist party Hizb-ut-Tahrir, highlighting mounting pressure on the military to expel extremists within its ranks.

“They are being questioned in relation to the brigadier case,” Military spokesman Major Gen. Athar Abbas told Reuters, referring to the arrest of Brigadier Ali Khan, who worked at the Army’s General Headquarters in Rawalpindi and was detained on May 6, four days after the Osama bin Laden raid.

According to security analyst and retired brigadier Shaukat Qadir, purging officers with Islamist leanings is nothing new in the Army, though the attack upon a Naval base last month, as well as US suspicions that some within Pakistan’s military establishment helped hide Mr. bin Laden, have added fresh impetus to the process. …

Read more: CSMONITOR.COM

Five generals threw their support behind protesters calling for immediate ouster of Yemeni President, General Saleh pledged his support for protesters and for the first time, his troops stood around the demonstration to protect it.

Senior Yemeni Officers Call for Ouster of President

SANA, Yemen — In a significant erosion of military support for Yemen’s embattled president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, five generals on Monday threw their support behind protesters calling for his immediate ouster as rival soldiers took up positions in different sections of the capital.

The generals were Brig. Gen. Ali Mohsin Saleh, a powerful figure who commands forces in the country’s northwest, three other brigadier generals and a general. The five said they had decided to support the protesters after watching the bloody clashes on Friday.

“I declare on their behalf our peaceful support for the youth revolution and that we are going to fulfill our complete duty in keeping the security and stability in the capital,” General Saleh said in an interview on Al Jazeera on Monday. He said that violence against protesters was “pushing the country to the edge of civil war.”

By Monday afternoon, tanks and soldiers loyal to the president were positioned around the presidential palace, while miles away, those directed by General Saleh pledged their support for protesters and, for the first time, stood around the demonstration to protect it.

Some of the soldiers at the demonstration draped black, white and red ribbons over their chest, the colors of Yemen’s flag. “We are with the people,” said a group of soldiers guarding the main entrance of the protest. …

Read more : Wichaar

The possible role of Premier Sensitive Agency of security establishment in Benazir Bhutto Assassination

ISI official provided content for BB murder press conference: Cheema

ISLAMABAD: Former Interior Ministry’s spokesman Brigadier (retired) Javed Iqbal Cheema had revealed in the documents obtained by DawnNews that material for the press conference which was held on December 28, 2007 after the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto was provided to him by a high ranking Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) official.

DawnNews has obtained from the Interior Ministry and FIA sources the statements of Cheema and former director general of Military Intelligence (MI) Ijaz Shah.

The statements revealed that Cheema had confessed before the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) that Maj. General Nusrat Naeem, the then director general of Counter Intelligence wing of ISI, had provided him the content for the press conference.

Naeem who works in Behria Town Rawalpindi after his retirement could be included in the investigations, said sources.

Courtesy: DAWN

Source – http://www.dawn.com/2011/03/15/isi-official-provided-content-for-bb-murder-press-conference-cheema.html

BB assassination probe: ‘Murder plot hatched at brigadier’s home’

ISLAMABAD: A fresh probe has uncovered the role of nine men, including an army brigadier, in the December 27, 2007 assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto. The assassination plot was hatched in the official residence of the army brigadier mentioned in the investigation report.

The findings of the probe, conducted under the interior ministry’s supervision, have deliberately been kept under wraps — even from the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party’s leading lights. The report is in the possession of Interior Minister Rehman Malik and has only been seen by President Asif Ali Zardari in its entirety.

Earlier this week, President Zardari temporarily shelved plans to share the contents of the inquiry report. The president was keen to first take the army leadership into confidence before ordering the arrest of certain uniformed personnel over their alleged involvement in Benazir’s assassination.

Five of the nine co-conspirators are still alive, according to the inquiry report. They were the ones who hired the killers and gave them shelter and logistical support. The five men will now be formally charged-sheeted and put on trial. The remaining four men, including those sent to kill Benazir, are already dead. …

Read more : The Express Trubue