By lex, on June 22nd, 2011
Last week we learned that our Pakistani allies were rounding up some of the usual suspects on suspicion of having provided the US with information on Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts.
This week we learn that the army’s internal security division has detained a Pakistani brigadier on suspicion of collaborating with the Hizb-ut-Tahrir militant group:
The detention of the officer, Brig. Ali Khan, raises serious concerns about the infiltration of elements sympathetic to Islamic extremists in the higher ranks of the army. While the lower ranks of the army, air force and navy have long been known to have elements sympathetic to the Taliban and extremist organizations, the arrest of Brigadier Khan is the first known arrest of an army official.
News of his detention comes at a sensitive time for the army, when morale in its ranks is at a historical ebb after the May 2 night raid by United States commandos that killed Osama bin Laden, and an attack on Pakistan’s largest naval base by militants who appear to have had inside assistance.
Brigadier Khan was serving at the General Headquarters of the Pakistan Army in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, outside the capital, Islamabad. He was picked up for questioning by the Special Investigative Branch of the Pakistan Army on May 6, but the announcement of the arrest was made Tuesday after an army spokesman confirmed to the BBC that he had been detained.
As schizophrenic as these actions seem lain side by side, they actually are consistent: Both Khan and those who provided targeting data on bin Laden are enemies of the state.
So long as FATA-based militants leave the government and military alone while focusing on sowing chaos in neighboring Afghanistan, the Pakistani elites are content to let well enough alone.
After all, it’s not like anyone important is being hurt.