The sentences of two military officers involved in the conspiracy to overthrow Benazir Bhutto's government of 1995 have been upheld by the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court dismissed the appeals of Col (retd) Azad Minhas and Col (retd) Inayatullah.
During the hearing of the case, Justice Munib Akhtar read out the decision reserved on February 15, 2022 against the punishments of the military officers.
The Supreme Court rejected the appeals of Col (retd) Azad Minhas and Col (retd) Inayatullah against their sentences.
The Field General Court Martial had sentenced Azad Minhas to two years and Inayatullah to four years of imprisonment with hard labor and dismissal from service.
Action was taken against the two former military officers for plotting to overthrow the Benazir government in 1995. After the petitions were rejected by the Lahore High Court, the petitioners had approached the Supreme Court in 2016.
The two former army officers are facing renewed attention due to their prosecution back in 1995 for allegedly conspiring to overthrow the government led by Benazir Bhutto at the time.
The two officers, along with the late Maj Gen (retd) Zaheerul Islam Abbasi and Brig Mustansir Billah, found themselves in legal trouble when they were apprehended on September 26, 1995. They faced charges related to a purported plot to disrupt a meeting of the corps commanders scheduled for September 30 that year at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi.
The Supreme Court had on February 15, 2022 reserved its decision on a series of appeals filed by the two army officers who were convicted by the Field General Court Marshal on charges of conspiring to overthrow the Benazir government in 1995.
The proceedings had taken place before a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court, comprising Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Munib Akhtar, and Justice Sayyed Mazahir Ali Akbar Naqvi. The bench concluded the proceedings after hearing arguments presented by Additional Attorney General (AAG) Sajid Ilyas Bhatti, as well as input from the two convicts.
The alleged plot, dating back to 1995, reportedly involved plans for the assassination of the then premier Bhutto, the then army chief Gen Abdul Waheed Kakar, senior cabinet ministers, and military leaders. Additionally, it aimed to establish an Islamic Khilafat system with Maj Gen (rtd) Abbasi as the emir.
Media reports had suggested that the intricate details of this conspiracy came to light when Qari Saifullah Akhtar, one of the conspirators and the leader of his faction of the Harkatul Jihad al Islami, decided to become an 'approver' and disclose crucial information regarding the plot.