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Former Major General’s son jailed for five years for writing a criticism letter to General Bajwa, Reports BBC Urdu

The son of a retired Pakistani army major general has been sentenced to five years in prison for writing a letter of criticism to Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa over his extension, reports BBC Urdu on Friday.

The BBC Urdu report says, according to military sources, a field general court-martial was held against accused Hassan Askari in the Gujranwala cantonment. During the operation, the accused was not allowed to have a lawyer of his choice and a military court provided him with a lawyer.

After being sentenced, Hassan Askari has been shifted to Sahiwal High-Security Jail. He was convicted by a military court in July this year and no statement was issued by the army’s public relations department, but details were recently released by Hassan Askari’s father.

A Lahore High Court (LHC) Pindi bench has moved a petition seeking a transfer of the convict from Sahiwal Jail to Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi.

As being reported, the court has issued notices to all the parties concerned, including the Field General Court Martial, on the request. Hassan Askari was accused of writing a letter to General Qamar Javed Bajwa in September last year, allegedly extending his tenure and asking him to resign, expressing displeasure with the army’s policies.

Major General (retd) Zafar Mehdi Askari, the father of convict Hassan Askari, said in the petition that he had learned that his son was being tried in Gujranwala Cantonment where the Field General Court Martial convicted him and sentenced him to five years’ imprisonment.

The field petition also claims that Hassan Askari’s family was kept in the dark for several weeks after he was convicted, while the petitioner’s daughter also contacted the General Headquarters several times but there was no response. Not received According to the petitioner, Brigadier Wasim, posted at Jag Branch, was also contacted and said that Hassan Askari has been kept in Sahiwal High-Security Jail and despite repeated contacts by the jail authorities, he was only allowed to visit Hassan once. He is allowed to meet Askari.

The petition also pointed out that Hassan Askari was not being allowed to meet his lawyer. The petition also mentions that he had written a letter to the Ministry of Human Rights in August stating that since Hassan Askari’s parents live in Islamabad, the culprit was sent to a nearby jail in Rawalpindi. He should be shifted to Adiala Jail as the parents of the accused are old while the mother of the accused is critically ill and undergoes dialysis three days a week.

Besides, the petitioner i.e. Major General (retd) Zafar Mehdi has said that a letter has been written to the head of the Punjab Prisons Department in this regard but no reply has been received from there. The petitioner contends that the Department of Prisons has the power to transfer any prisoner to any jail within the province.



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