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Ex-Pak general convicted of espionage pardoned by new military leadership

Ex-Pak general convicted of espionage pardoned by new military leadership

Islamabad, Jan 9 (SocialNews.XYZ) A retired Pakistani general convicted of sharing "classified information" with foreign spies has been pardoned by the new military leadership and released from prison.

However, he still plans to continue challenging the guilty verdict, awarded to him by an army tribunal until he is honourably acquitted, Dawn news quoted his lawyer as saying.


Lt Gen retired Javed Iqbal was released from Rawalpindi's Adiala Jail on December 29, 2022, after the new military leadership reviewed his case soon after taking charge and, according to his lawyer Omer Farouk Adam, "realised the injustice done to him" by the previous command.

Gen Iqbal was awarded 14 years rigorous imprisonment by Field General Court Martial (FGCM) -- a life term in Pakistan -- on May 30, 2019 after being convicted of "espionage/leakage of sensitive information to foreign agencies prejudicial to the national security", but eventually came out of jail after four years, Dawn reported.

The jailed general was, therefore, scheduled to be freed on May 29 this year, but the new Army Chief Gen Asim Munir finished the sentence completely, paving the way for his early release.

Gen Iqbal's conviction on espionage-related charges and sentencing was almost unprecedented for a three-star retired military officer, and more so for someone who had held key appointments, including director-general of military operations, adjutant-general, and corps commander, Dawn reported.

He had also led the military's internal probe into the US special forces' raid in Abbottabad in 2011 in which Al Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden was killed.

While announcing the sentence, the army had neither disclosed what secrets he had allegedly divulged to foreign spies, nor identified the foreign agency.

Gen Iqbal's engagements with Americans, which ultimately landed him in trouble, allegedly started when he was approached by Ryan Kessler from Gaming Company Take-II during a visit to US after retirement and engaged as a consultant in 2016.

However, his involvement came to an end after he objected to plans for showing US forces thwarting an attempt to smuggle nuclear material through Karachi port, Dawn reported.

He is alleged to have subsequently come in contact with two other individuals, one from the Harvard Group and someone who worked for the US National Security Adviser's office.

The latter got in touch with him in 2018, and the general is said to have conveyed these engagements to Gen Bajwa. He was never granted a subsequent audience with the army chief and taken into custody on Dec 5, 2018, Dawn reported.

After investigations, Gen Iqbal was charged under Section 3 of Official Secrets Act and Section 59 of Army Act, 1952 and court martial proceedings were initiated against him.

The allegations against him included sharing his career profile; disclosing the SPD deals with fissile material; explaining the selection process for the appointment of the army chief; detailing how the army channels its advice to the government and elaborating the National Security Committee's composition; talking about Pakistani role in military operations in Afghanistan; divulging plans to erect fence on border with Afghanistan; revealing that a joint training exercise had been held with Russia and sharing information about negotiations with Russia for acquisition of military equipment, especially gunship helicopters; giving details of deployment of an infantry brigade at Gwadar for security of Chinese and CPEC and army's involvement in CPEC security.

In his communications, he was also said to have told the Americans that UAE and Saudi Arabia provided funds for the rehabilitation of militancy-hit areas of KP province; and that US assistance was going to the government instead of directly reaching the armed forces, Dawn reported.

Source: IANS

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Ex-Pak general convicted of espionage pardoned by new military leadership

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