- “May 9 was the ‘darkest day’ in the history of Pakistan,” PM says.
- Premier adds PTI stoked violence that amounted to anti-state acts.
- “They caused damage that even enemies could not do in 75 years.”
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday announced that miscreants involved in attacks on army installations and civil properties during the May 9 violent protests will be tried in military courts and anti-terrorism courts (ATCs), respectively.
The violent protests were triggered almost across the country after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s arrest in £190 million Al-Qadir Trust case on May 9 which led to the deaths of at least 10 people and injured several others, prompting the authorities to arrest thousands of PTI workers.
During the protests, the miscreants attacked the civil and military installations including – Corps Commander’s House (Jinnah House) in Lahore Cantt and the General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi.
The military called May 9 “Black Day” and has decided to try the protesters under the Army Act, with Chief of Army Staff General Asim Munir saying that the legal process in this regard has already begun.
Chairing a meeting on the law and order situation in Lahore today, PM Shehbaz said everyone who is involved in the incidents of May 9 will be dealt with iron hand.
He added that the day will always be remembered as a “black day” in the history of Pakistan. He went on to say that the rioters “turned into enemies of the country” and carried out the attack on the GHQ.
He said that the miscreants also burned Jinnah House and public properties on the same day. PM Shehbaz said that those who are involved in attacking the military installations will also be brought to book.
Berating Khan, the incumbent prime minister said: “May 9 was the darkest day in the history of Pakistan when PTI Chairman Imran Khan Niazi led miscreants torched Quaid’s (Corps Commander’s) House in Lahore like the terrorists had set on fire Quaid’s Residency in Ziarat during 2013.”
He added that the PTI chief and his followers stoked terrorism and violence that amounted to anti-state acts.
They caused damage to such a huge extent that even the enemies of Pakistan could not do it in the last 75 years, he added. “Such agonising incidents will continue to haunt the nation.”
Seeking progress on the legal proceedings against the culprits, he reiterated that during previous meetings, it was decided that anyone involved in the incidents of planning, instigating, sloganeering and vandalism would not escape the iron claws of law.
‘Attack on GHQ included in India’s objectives’
Earlier today, Federal Minister for Defence Khawaja Asif said that the attack on the GHQ during the May 9 violent protests was included in India’s anti-Pakistan objectives.
“Pakistan’s existence was attacked on May 9. A person [Imran Khan] made this attack just for the sake of his power,” Asif said while addressing Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) rally taken out to express solidarity with the armed forces, in Sialkot.
He regretted how the families and heirs of the martyred would have felt when a group of vandals attacked the sacred monuments. “I never doubt anyone’s loyalty but I doubt the intentions of those who led the attacks on May 9.”
Moreover, Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal deemed the May 9 vandalism on military installations by the PTI workers as “9/11-type” attacks on the national interests of the country.
In an exclusive interview with APP today, the federal minister lamented over the regrettable act by the party’s workers who barged into and destroyed several symbols of Pakistan’s pride including the Jinnah House, Yadgar-e-Shuhada, fighter jets of the famous 1965 war and the Chagai mountain model.
— Additional input from APP