RAWALPINDI (Staff Report) – For the first time in the history of Pakistan, 6 high ranking army officers, including a three-star general, were dismissed from service over corruption.
The sacked officers include one lieutenant-general, one major-general, three brigadiers and one colonel are among those dismissed from service by Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif, sources told Daily Pakistan.
Earlier media reports said 12 officers, including some JCOs, were dismissed, but the source said that this was mere speculation.
The top names in the list include former Inspector-General Frontier Corps (IG FC) Balochistan Lieutenant-General Obaidullah Khattak, and Major-General Ijaz Shahid.
Other senior names in the list of sacked officers include Brigadier Asad Shahzada, Brigadier Amir, Brigadier Saifullah and Colonel Haider.
The officers named above served with the Frontier Corps (FC) Balochistan and have been charged for corruption during their service with the paramilitary force.
The development comes a day after the army chief said “across the board accountability is necessary for the solidarity, integrity and prosperity of Pakistan”.
On Tuesday, the army chief had said that the war against terror cannot be won unless “the menace of corruption is uprooted.”
The sacked officers were asked to return all earnings accumulated through corruption, while all perks and privileges had been withdrawn from the officers except their pensions.
The investigation was conducted by Adjutant Gen Zubair Mahmood Hayat and the army chief signed the orders.
Lt Gen Obaidullah also served as IG FC from 2010-2013, after which Maj Gen Ejaz Shahid was appointed IG FC.
However, there has been no official confirmation regarding the dismissal of these officers.
Welcomed by ‘all’
The army chief’s call for across-the-board accountability comes as the ruling family is embroiled in the explosive Panama Papers which count Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family among other global political elite with undeclared offshore assets.
Opposition leaders, especially PTI chairman Imran Khan, have demanded a probe into the scandal, with some calling for the PM to step down.
Three children of PM Nawaz have been accused of money laundering and tax evasion in the aftermath of Panama Papers leak.
PTI’s Shah Mahmood Qureshi appreciated the Thursday’s development, terming the move a signal that Operation Zarb-i-Azb and the war against corruption will not stop. “This action will bring more credibility to the state’s security in carrying out an across-the-board operation.”
PPP leader Qamar Zaman Kaira said it was time for the PM and his family to come clean regarding the Panama leaks. He added that the opposition parties had “no differences over the initiation of a transparent inquiry”. “Things done through consensus take time, and the Panama inquiry will also take some time.”
Jamaat-i-Islami’s Ameer Sirajul Haq said the civilian leadership should stand united against “economic terrorism” like it stands against militancy and terrorism after Army Public School massacre.
On the other hand, PML-N’s Zubair Umar said that although the army chief’s move was laudable, only the PML-N and prime minister should not be targeted. He also called for an ‘across the board accountability’ by holding “corrupt elements” within the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and PPP as well.