Pak conducts court martial of seven men in Army HQ attack case

Islamabad, Feb 22 (PTI) The Pakistani military isconducting the court martial of seven men charged withinvolvement in a terrorist attack on the army�s headquartersin the garrison city of Rawalpindi in 2009, a defence lawyerhas said.

A brigadier is heading the trial that began on January24 though the army has kept the proceedings secret.

Inam-ur-Rehman, a lawyer for the accused, saidcivilians cannot be tried by court martial on such charges.

Rehman contended that only civilians accused of spyingon Pakistan''s military installations for an enemy state or ofinciting a mutiny in the military can be court martialled,according to a report on the website of BBC Urdu.

A group of 10 suicide attackers stormed the army''sGeneral Headquarters in October 2009 and killed 11 people andheld dozens of army personnel hostage for nearly 20 hours.

The attackers entered the GHQ complex after killingguards at the main gate.

Nine attackers were killed in an operation bycommandos while one identified as Aqeel alias Doctor Usman wasarrested in an injured condition.

Army investigators arrested six more persons on thebasis of information provided by Aqeel a few days after theattack.

These seven men are now being tried by the militarycourt.

Aqeel''s friend Imran, a former army medical corpspersonnel, is among the suspects.

The others are Khaliq-ur-Rehman, Usman Aaka, WajidMehmood, Muhammad Adnan and Tahir Shafeeq, all believed to befriends of Aqeel.

The prosecution has alleged that the six men wereaware of the terrorist plan to attack the GHQ and had helpedAqeel.

But lawyer Inam-ur-Rehman said the military court hasno jurisdiction to hear the charges framed against hisclients.

He said he had told the court that nine of the 10attackers were killed and that civilians were not involved inthe attack.

Rehman also said no weapon was recovered from theaccused and they could not be linked to the attack.

He said the accused had been in the custody of thearmy''s "secret agencies" and their relatives had not beeninformed about their whereabouts. (More) PTI RHL

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