Pakistan army officer held for 'illegal ties'

Brigadier in charge of drafting regulations detained over suspected link with outlawed group.

    A Pakistani army brigadier has been arrested for suspected ties to a banned group, the military has said.

    Major General Athar Abbas, spokesman of the Pakistan military, on Tuesday said Brigadier Ali Khan was linked to the outlawed Hizb-ul-Tahrir group.

    Abbas said Khan, assigned to military headquarters in the garrison town of Rawalpindi, was in charge of drafting army regulations.

    Hizb-ul-Tahrir or 'Party of Liberation', is a political group dedicated to re-establishing an Islamic caliphate across the Muslim world.

    Active in Britain, it is banned in many Muslim countries for its calls to overthrow the sitting governments.

    'Zero tolerance'

    "We follow zero tolerance policy of such activities within the military therefore prompt action was taken on detection," Abbas said.

    Hizb-ul-Tahrir says it does not advocate violence, but many critics say it has ties to armed organisations and encourages young men to radicalism.

    Abbas said efforts were also being made to arrest members of the group who were in contact with Khan.

    Khan is the highest-ranking serving Pakistani army officer to be arrested in a decade.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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