'Court-martialled' general continues legal battle to clear his name.

ISLAMABAD -- A retired general convicted of sharing 'classified information' with foreign spies has been pardoned by the new military leadership and released from prison.

However, he still plans to continue challenging the guilty verdict, awarded to him by an army tribunal until he is honourably acquitted, his lawyer told Dawn on Saturday.

Lt Gen retired Javed Iqbal was released from Rawalpindi's Adiala Jail on Dec 29 after the new military leadership reviewed his case soon after taking charge and, according to his lawyer Omer Farouk Adam, 'realised the injustice done to him' by the previous command.

Gen Iqbal was awarded 14-years rigorous imprisonment by Field General Court Martial (FGCM) - a life term in Pakistan - on May 30, 2019 after being convicted of 'espionage/leakage of sensitive information to foreign agencies prejudicial to the national security', but eventually came out of jail after four years.


The 14-year sentence was commuted by the appellate authority by seven years, in May 2021. Later, former army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa further reduced the sentence by another two and a half years just before his departure from GHQ.

The jailed general was, therefore, scheduled to be freed on May 29 this year, but the new Army Chief Gen Asim Munir finished the sentence completely, paving the way for his early release.

Gen Iqbal has been pursuing a separate petition in the Lahore High Court since 2021, in which he has appealed for setting aside his conviction by the FGCM for being 'coram non judice, without jurisdiction, and suffering from mala fides including malice in law and fact,' according to a copy of his appeal that is being heard by the court.

His counsel, Adam, says nearly a dozen hearings have been held by the court without much headway. He vows to press ahead with the appeal and is hopeful that his client would eventually get justice.

The next hearing in Gen Iqbal's appeal is set for the end of this month.

Commenting on the pardoning of Gen Iqbal by Gen Munir, the lawyer said: 'It's a good start, but not acceptable. He must be acquitted of all malicious and malafide allegations.'

Mr Adam said his client was determined to continue fighting for an 'honorable acquittal'.

Gen Iqbal's conviction on espionage-related charges and sentencing was almost unprecedented for a three-star retired military officer...

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