Shahid Bashir

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Shahid Bashir
Nickname(s) EME Colonel Shahid Bashir
Born Faisalabad, Punjab province
Allegiance  Pakistan
Service/branch  Pakistan Army
Years of service 1984–present
Rank US-O6 insignia.svg Colonel
Unit Pakistan Army Engineering Corps
Commands held Shamsi Air Force Base
Battles/wars

Indo-Pakistani War of 1999
War in North-West Pakistan

Colonel Shahid Bashir is a Pakistan Army engineer and pilot officer who is facing court martial by the Judge Advocate General Branch of Pakistan Army.[1] Bashir is accused of spying, including leaking secrets of the Shamsi Air base to those planning to attack it, and inciting fellow soldiers to commit acts of terrorism. On December 10, 2009, Colonel Bashir along with his close friends, was arrested by the Pakistani military police.[2]

Squadron Leader Nadeem Ahmad Shah, a retired air force fighter pilot and a former professional JAG lawyer who is now a practiced civilian advocate at the Lahore High Court, and Awais Ali Khan, a civilian mechanical engineer served with the military's Air Weapons Complex (AWC) but resigned two years ago. According to the media reports, the three men are in army's custody in Kotli, district of Azad Kashmir but there was no official word on allegations levelled against them.

Military career[edit]

Bashir was a closed friend of Nadeem Ahmed Advocate, he started his education with Nadeem Ahmed Advocate, and later Bashir was commissioned in the army in 1984 and is a graduate of Military College of Signals, Rawalpindi where he gained his B.Eng. in Electronics and Communication Engineering with a specialization in electronic signals technology from the College of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering. After his degree, he was inducted in Corps of Engineers as a 2nd Lieutenant in 1986. In 1990, Shahid was transferred to Army Aviation Corps where he did a one-year-long aviation course, was inducted into the Army Aviation Corps as an Aviation Pilot of PA-AH-1 Cobra. In 1996, he was transferred to the Pakistan Army Corps of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering where he started his engineering career from Air Weapons Complex. At AWC, he met with Awais Ali Khan, a U.S. educated-mechanical engineer who expertise in drs given a charge of one regiment of the Pakistan Army Corps of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, and was posted as a commanding officer at the Shamsi Air Force Base.[3] The Shamsi Air Force Base is a Pakistan Air Force's secret air base allegedly use by the Central Intelligence Agency for Predator drone attacks on militants in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

Arrest[edit]

May 4, 2009, Colonel Bashir and his close friends Sq.Ldr. Nadeem Ahmad Shah and Awais Ali Khan left their houses to have a dinner to a nearby restaurant but they could not reach their destination and mysteriously disappeared.[4] It was later discovered that the three men were arrested by the Pakistani military police, and are investigated by the Military Intelligence.[5]

On Wednesday, May 13, 2009, Federal Minister for Law, Justice, and Parliamentary Affairs Dr.Babar Awan informed Parliament that the army has detained a serving colonel along with a Rawalpindi based lawyer on the basis of espionage charges. However, during the press conference, the minister did not speak about the charges in details.[6]

Investigation[edit]

On December 2009, the Pakistan Armed Forces military information office, Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) held a press conference to provide the details. The ISPR's Director-General and Chief military spokesman Major-General Athar Abbas said he was aware that some persons were being investigated for spying but he did not have any knowledge about the court-martial. According to the M.I. military investigators, Colonel Bashir had contacts to the terrorist group and the Army investigators have probed his alleged links to the Hizb ut-Tahrir group.[7]

Court-Martial[edit]

According to details of the charges provided to the families of the three men, Colonel Shahid Bashir and his close friends has been charged with leaking secrets of Shamsi airbase to persons who were planning to attack the facility.[8] According to the sources, the three men are in army's custody in Kotli, district of Azad Kashmir but there was no official word on allegations levelled against them.[9]

BBC quoted its sources as saying that they had been accused of leaking secrets about the Pakistan Air Force base at Shamsi in Balochistan and inciting army officers to commit acts of terrorism. The court-martial is conducted by the JAG court headed by the Army's Brigadier-General under the provisions of the Army Act. Under the military justice law of Pakistani Armed Forces, if the accused are convicted, the colonel could be given the death sentence with a dishonorable discharged while the others could receive a life-sentence in military jails.[10]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Associate news. "See:In January 2010". 
  2. ^ Ibid
  3. ^ Headline News of Pakistan (May 13, 2009). "Army colonel, lawyer detained on espionage charges". Dawn newspaper (Islamabad: Herald Publications). Retrieved 2010. 
  4. ^ Ahmed, Israr (May 4, 2009). "Lawyer, army colonel 'abducted'". The Nation (Rawalpindi, Punjab province: Majid Nizami). Archived from the original on May 8, 2009. Retrieved 2010. 
  5. ^ Ghumman, Khawar (May 14, 2009). "Colonel, lawyer held on charge of espionage, NA told". Dawn newspaper (Islamabad, Islamabad Capital Territory: Dawn Group of Newspapers and Herald Publications). Retrieved 2010. 
  6. ^ Ibid (May 13, 2009). "Ibid". Dawn newspaper (Islamabad: Herald Publications). Retrieved 2010. 
  7. ^ Ibib (December 10, 2009). "Army Colonel among 3 to face court-martial for 'spying'". Zee News (India: Zee News Ltd). Retrieved 2010. 
  8. ^ Press News. "Pakistani military court charges two army officers for assisting banned terror outfit". 
  9. ^ Press News (December 10, 2009). "Army Colonel among 3 to face court-martial for 'spying'". Zee News (India: Zee News Ltd). Retrieved 2010. 
  10. ^ PNW, Pakistan News Press (December 10, 2009). "Pakistani Colonel among three to face court-martial for 'spying'". www.dnaindia.com. Retrieved 2010. 

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