A serving Brigadier of the Pakistan Army was detained for questioning on the suspicion of having links with a banned organisation. It is not the first time that a serving senior ranking officer has been detained. The army has an inbuilt system of supervision, scrutiny, investigations and then taking an appropriate action. But the way this incident was covered in the media is alarming. The officer was detained, as reported, in the first week of May close behind the Abbottabad incident. Hence, the speculations that have hit the nation by storm. The disturbing aspect is that some journalists were offering comments that led to preconceived conclusions. A report in the press stated: it is being probed how a Brigadier having linkage with militants got appointed to Regulation Directorate, an important military branch that primarily deals with recruitments and human resource issues. The statement makes the impression that the journalist had concluded and wanted conveyed that an Islamist at a senior position at the GHQs having linkages with the militants was overseeing recruitments. This leaves the field wide open to draw subjective conclusions under the influence of American propaganda. Irony is that persons with little or no knowledge of GHQs inner working make statements with authority. The Regulation Directorate, as the name indicates is a small cell in the GHQs, which deals with rules, regulations and procedures that are needed for the internal administration of the army. It is not responsible for the recruitment, induction or training of manpower for the army. However, the statement above suggests in a sinister manner, that, perhaps, this Brigadier was inducting Islamist militants in the army. Such irresponsible observations create despondency in the national thinking that considers the army their saviour. Detention or arrest of an officer is not a unique happening in the army. Those committing offence, while in uniform have been and will be detained in future too; the army has an established, transparent and judicious system to inquire, investigate and then try the accused personnel according to its legal code. The accused get appropriate and full legal assistance for defence. This case too will go through the same protocol. I think the army erred in the manner that it announced the arrest. It would have sufficed at the ISPR level to say that the officer was allegedly involved in a breach of military discipline and is being investigated; there was no need to say that he was linked with or had links with Hizb-ut-Tehrir (HuT). This declaration has opened the Pandoras Box. Some reports suggested that he had links with the CIA-backed militants. This left the ground wide open to air the conspiracy theories to suit anyones liking. HuT is an ideological organisation, which propagates a pan-Islamic agenda. Its lofty aim, as described by Wikipedia, is to unify all Muslim countries into one Islamic Caliphate ruled by Islamic law under one head of state elected by all Muslims. Its total activity is restricted to the distribution of leaflets on the roads and outside Friday congregations. Though it is banned in many countries, including the USA and Pakistan, its strongest base is in the UK where its volunteers are seen distributing its literature. It is not linked with any terrorist organisation and has not indulged in such activities. Their ideal may be lofty, but it is difficult to achieve. In this era of nation states, old concepts of nationhood are not finding any solid grounds. If Rousseaus definition of a nation could hold true today, then all countries from the UAE to Morocco would be a single nation but it is not so. Realising such a dream through ideological change will need centuries, if not millennia. That is the reason that the UK has not banned this outfit. The US seems to have banned it under the fear syndrome beset by Islam phobia. However, it has not declared HuT a militant organisation. The ideals that HuT holds are not new. Many Muslim leaders before had propagated that thought, but they did not succeed in their struggle; Jamal-ud-Din Afghani was one such leader, even Allama Iqbal subscribed to same ideals. Ideologically speaking, every Muslim has such a dream, but these are dreams only. Realistically, the ideal Caliphate established by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) did not last for more than 30 years and then gave way to kingship. It will be interesting to see how Brigadier Ali (likely to be released) will be dealt with for sympathising with an ideology; according to the DG ISPR that is the only allegation against him so far. The speculation that Brigadier had links with the CIA-backed militants is a serious matter. Since the Raymond Davis saga unfolded, CIAs links with the militants within FATA and Pakistan are under investigation, if the media reports are to be believed. There were concerns and apprehensions even before this incident about the American intelligence agencys role in the terror activities in Pakistan. But linking a serving senior officer to such militants, who are out to damage and destroy Pakistan, seems farfetched. Every officer and jawan of the Pakistan Army stands on the drill ground of his training establishment and takes an oath to defend the motherland, even to the peril of his life; most have stood by their calling. If this officer is guilty of that breach of trust he must pay for it, but no one should jump to the conclusion; let the investigations establish his guilt first. He deserves to be treated as an officer till proved guilty. Some analysts have opined that the Brigadiers arrest shows the extent of radicalisation in the army. This too is an assessment which supports the US view held for long and one who has offered this wants to prove them right. The USA has several times displayed fears that the Pakistani army has a strong Islamist element among its rank and file and they may take over one day by staging a mutiny within the army that will put the countrys nukes in militant hands - a dangerous proposition for global security. It seems that the US allegedly has military plans in place to take out Pakistans nuclear assets in this scenario. The journalist jumping to this conclusion has played right into the hands of the US security planners. They will cry hoarse, see we told you so. The Pakistani army is a liberal but balanced outfit; its rank and file is Muslim in majority; some pray five times a day, some do not; some fast and meet other religious obligations, some do not, but they are not rigid or radicals. They all understand their obligation and duty to the nation. A collective uprising against the organisation is at best a speculation. The manner in which the Pak Army is subjected to relentless criticism, indeed, affects the morale and attitude of the junior rank and files, and sometimes even mid-level seniors may join too prompting them to embark on reckless ventures. It has faced such ventures in the early 1950s and then after the fall of Dhaka. Both failed. The army is a well organised institution with its internal systems of surveillance and checks that do not let such ventures succeed. Its internal dynamics will detect and arrest such ventures in their infancy. The Brigadier, who was arrested or detained comes from a military family and understands the parameters of military discipline. According to his peers, he has had a brilliant career; a graduate of National Defence University, who had held the coveted appointment of Chief of Staff of an Army Corps. He was superseded and placed in a minor department in the GHQs and due to retire soon. Such officers do become vocal, loud mouth and indulge in loud cribbing - critical outburst in military slang. Let us not speculate and build mountains out of trivial information available; as I said above that the army has a system to deal with such incidents. n The writer is a retired Brigadier and Political Analyst.