New Delhi: The Pakistan Army Saturday hanged Brig. Raja Rizwan (retd) after he was convicted of spying for a foreign intelligence agency, social media posts indicated.
Brigadier Rizwan was hanged today after mercy plea was rejected
for spying/treason against the
— Engr Mian Ayub (@EngrMianAyub) November 24, 2019
There is no independent confirmation of the hanging, but in May this year, the Pakistani military’s information agency, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), had issued a statement saying Army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa had endorsed the death sentence.
“We have received reports about the hanging. Currently, there is no confirmation,” a source in the Indian security establishment told ThePrint.
Pakistani journalists said they were awaiting official word from the ISPR. No Pakistani mainstream media has reported about the hanging.
ThePrint had reported in June that the Brigadier, along with Pakistan’s former Director General of Military Operations, Lieutenant General Javed Iqbal (Retd), were accused of spying for American Intelligence Agency CIA during the infamous Raymond Davis saga in 2011.
Court case led to information getting out
Brig. Rizwan was sentenced to death alongside Wasim Akram, a civilian doctor employed by an army organisation. Lt Gen. Iqbal, meanwhile, was sentenced to 14 years in jail.
ISPR chief Major General Asif Ghafoor had confirmed the arrests of the senior officers in a press conference on 22 February.
At the time, he had said that the two cases were not linked to each other, and there was no network of spies as such, a claim that sources in the Indian establishment said was completely untrue.
The case came to light in October 2018 after the Brigadier’s son Ali Rizwan filed a habeas corpus petition in the Islamabad High Court, saying his father had gone missing on 10 October near a shopping centre in the capital city.
Justice Aamer Farooq, who heard the petition, had sought a report from the authorities, and the Pakistani military was forced to admit that the officers were in their custody.
While Lt Gen. Iqbal retired in 2015, Brig. Rizwan, who was the Pakistani defence attaché in Germany, retired in 2014.
It is believed that both officers were recruited by the CIA earlier in their careers and were used by the Americans to get information on the country’s nuclear programme and the Army’s plans and support to jihadi groups.
Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it
India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.
But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.
ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.