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Pakistan: Pakistan court-martials retired officers for backing Imran

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ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Army has court-martialed and sentenced two retired officers, Major Adil Farooq Raja and Capt Haider Mehdi, to 14 and 12 years imprisonment for “sedition” and “espionage”. Both former officers, known for their YouTube campaigns in support of detained former PM Imran Khan, are unlikely to serve the sentence as they reside outside of Pakistan, with Raja based in England and Mehdi in Canada.
The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the military’s media arm, issued a statement on Saturday, saying the convictions and sentences were handed down “under the Pakistan Army Act, 1952 for the charges of inciting sedition among army personnel from discharge of duties and violation of the provisions of Official Secrets Act, 1923 related to espionage and acts prejudicial to the safety and interest of the state”.
The military emphasised that the duo “forfeited” their ranks following the conviction and sentencing.
The sentences are believed to be linked to the events of May 9, during the arrest of Imran Khan, which led to widespread violence and attacks on key military installations. In June, both Raja and Mehdi were charged with inciting violence during the May protests by the ex-PM’s Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf.
Both retired officers were declared fugitives and their personal properties were seized. In addition, bank accounts of both were frozen, passports cancelled, and their names added to the no-fly list.
Reacting to the verdict, Raja questioned the legality of the court’s decision on his social media account. “Under what law? What court martial?” he asked, arguing that according to the constitution, the Pakistani military could not court-martial him without reinstating him and noted that after halting his pension and allowances, it had lost its right to reinstate him.



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