Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Pak Air Force staff court martialed for terror links

Fifty-seven members of the Pakistan Air Force have been arrested and charged with having links to terrorism over the last two years, according to reports appearing today in the Pakistan media. Some of the investigations against the men began during General Musharraf's rule over the country. A PAF official called Mushtaq was arrested and that led to others being rounded up.
The arrests took place all over the country, including in Kamra, Lahore, Sargodha, Mianwali and Karachi. Of the 57 arrested, 26 have faced a court martial, where sentences ranging from three-and-a-half years to 17 years were handed down. Six others received death sentences for involvement in serious, but unspecified crimes.
At least one fugitive is still at large and his photos have been posted up around military bases. No details about the nature of the links or the offences that resulted in death sentences.
Update: The PAF has confirmed that the men were arrested following an assassination attempt on former President Musharraf in 2003. All the arrests took place more than two years ago. Relatives of some of the men have protested their innocence, saying they were targeted for voting against Musharraf in a referendum.

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