Veterans, Ex-servicemen 'Aghast' At Police Action Against Retired General Officers

Veterans, Ex-servicemen 'Aghast' At Police Action Against Retired General Officers
Two distinct organisations, both purporting to represent former personnel of the Pakistan armed forces, have expressed their shock and concern at the arrest of Lt. Gen. (retired) Amjad Shoaib, as well as at a raid on the residence of retired brigadier Muhammad Mahmud, both occurring earlier today (Monday).

The 'Veterans of Pakistan' (VOP) went so far as to claim that "unknown persons" accompanied the police in their raid on a retired general officer's house. The use of the phrase "namaloom" is a not-so-subtle allusion to the shadowy operators who serve the deep state and its intelligence apparatus.

Lt. Gen. (retd) Shoaib, currently the president of 'Pakistan Ex Servicemen Society' (PESS), is himself a former director general of the military intelligence (DGMI). Brigadier (retd) Mian Muhammad Mahmud, patron-in-chief of the VOP, is a graduate of the 1st 'Long Course' of the Pakistan Military Academy (PMA) at Kakul.

The VOP said that at 10am local time, "a joint operation was carried out by the police and a group of unidentified individuals" at the residence of brigadier (retd) Mahmud in Rawalpindi cantonment. The VOP claimed that the "raid" was carried out "under the pretext of a search for a bomb that was allegedly planted".

The statement says it soon "became apparent that the real aim of the operation was not to locate a bomb but to disrupt a meeting of VOP members that was scheduled to take place at 1300 hours" on 26 February.

The VOP says it is being harassed because "its members have been critical of the consequences of Regime Change Operation for Pakistan and its people, as well as government's policies on several occasions".

The VOP statement, apparently issued by its executive committee, says that authorities have not released any official statement regarding the incident. Ironically, it adds that the identities of the "unknowns" or "namalooms" involved in the operation remain unknown.

Meanwhile, PESS issued a tweet in which they said they refused to believe that "this shameful fascist arrest" of their organisation's president, Lt. Gen. (retd) Amjad Shoaib, was executed without prior authorisation from Pakistan Army's incumbent chief, Gen. Syed Asim Munir, "who will be an ex-serviceman himself in a few years".

The PESS tweet added that the army chief "seems to have forgotten that at the moment".

Challenging the authenticity of the PESS tweet above, Lt. Gen. (retd) Naeem Lodhi - former defence secretary and former caretaker defence minister - tweeted that PESS had not issued any official press statement on Lt. Gen. (retd) Amjad Shoaib's arrest. "We don't implicate Army or its intelligence agencies in the event," Lt. Gen. (retd) Lodhi's tweet said.

Lt. Gen. (retd) Shoaib has been handed over to police custody on three days' physical remand by an Islamabad court. The presiding judge further ordered that the aged veteran be produced before the court again on 2 March.