Rawalpindi—In a rare development welcomed by political leaders and analysts, Chief of Army Staff, General Raheel Sharif on Thursday dismissed 12 Army officers including a three-star general from service over corruption.
The development came two days after his remarks about across the board accountability which he termed necessary for solidarity, integrity and prosperity of the country as well as uprooting of terrorism.
Those dismissed included Lieutenant- General Obaidullah Khan Khattak who was serving as Inspector-General Arms and Weapons at GHQ. Others on the list are Maj-Gen Ejaz Shahid, Brigadier Rasheed, Brigadier Asad Shahzada, Brigadier Saifullah, Brigadier Amir, Lt-Col Haider, Commandant Chaman Scouts and Major Najeeb.
The eight officers served with the Frontier Corps (FC) Balochistan and have been charged for corruption during their service with the paramilitary force.
The others dismissed were junior commissioned officers who worked with their officers.
Adjutant General Zubair Mahmood Hayat conducted investigation against the officers on the orders of the Army Chief.
The charged officers have been asked to return in all earnings accumulated through corruption, adding that all perks and privileges had been withdrawn from the officers except their pensions.
The Army Chief’s call for across-the-board accountability came at a time when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s family among other political and business leaders is being named in Panama Leaks.
Both the opposition and ruling political leaders have welcomed the initiative of the Army Chief against corruption.
PTI’s Shah Mahmood Qureshi appreciated the 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.”
Qamar Zaman Kaira of PPP said it was time for the PM and his family to come clean regarding the Panama leaks, adding that the opposition parties had “no differences over the initiation of a transparent inquiry.”
Jamaat-i-Islami Ameer Sirajul Haq said the civilian leadership should stand united against “economic terrorism” like it stands against militancy and terrorism after the Army Public School massacre.
Former president Pervez Musharraf lauded the Army Chief’s action. Defence analysts said the NAB, the Federal Investigation Agency and other agencies should also take similar action regarding bureaucracy. They said the Army Chief has “set an example for politicians to follow” and the decision would “build pressure on politicians as well as the judiciary to root out corruption”.