General’s son sentenced to five years in prison for criticizing Pakistan Army Chief Bajwa’s extension
A military court in Pakistan has sentenced the son of a retired major general of the Pakistan Army to five years in prison on charges of treason
A military court in Pakistan has sentenced the son of a retired major general of the Pakistan Army to five years in prison on charges of treason. The verdict found him guilty of fomenting anarchy in the armed forces. The son of Major General Zafar Mehdi Askari (retd.) had allegedly written a letter, critical of Pakistan’s Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa. In the letter, he had criticized the extension of General Bajwa and sought the resignation of the latter, according to a report in BBC Urdu, carried by The New.
Askari’s son, a computer engineer by profession, was sentenced to five years in prison by the Field General Court Martial in Gujranwala Cantt. Askari has now challenged the military court’s verdict by filing a petition in the Islamabad High Court.
During the trial, conducted in July, he was convicted under Section 131 of the Pakistan Penal Code covers inciting army officers to treason. The accused was later shifted to High-Security Prison in Sahiwal.
General Askari, citing difficulties in meeting the son at the Sahiwal Jail, had solicited the help of the Federal Ministry of Human Rights in shifting his son to Rawalpindi's Adiala Jail. The report claimed that earlier requests by the parents to prison authorities for shifting went unheeded.
Pakistan’s military courts are infamous for unfair trials and rights activists have raised the issue of whether these courts have the right to prosecute a civilian.