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Saturday February 24, 2024

Warning to PTI: 'Handover terrorists hiding in Zaman Park within 24 hours'

Punjab minister claims 30-40 terrorists involved in May 9 vandalism are hiding inside Imran Khan's residence in Lahore

By Web Desk
May 17, 2023

Punjab Interim Information Minister Amir Mir addresses press conference in Lahore, on May 17, 2023, in this still taken from a video. — YouTube/GeoNews
Punjab Interim Information Minister Amir Mir addresses press conference in Lahore, on May 17, 2023, in this still taken from a video. — YouTube/GeoNews

Punjab Interim Information Minister Amir Mir on Wednesday warned Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), asking it to handover "terrorists hiding in Zaman Park" within the next 24 hours.

Mir, while addressing a press conference, said that almost "30-40 terrorists involved in May 9 vandalism have taken refuge" at the former prime minister's residence in Lahore.

“PTI should handover these terrorists or the law will take its course,” he warned, adding that the government was aware of the presence of these elements on the basis of credible intelligence reports.

Accusing the PTI of behaving like a "non-state actor", Mir recalled that the PTI chief has been targeting the military since over a year.

The acting information minister said that attacks on military installations were carried out during May 9 violent protests under a set plan, adding that the government has adopted a “zero tolerance policy" towards it and interim Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi has given a “freehand” to the Punjab Police to deal with “arsonists”. 

While responding to a question, he said that the attack on Jinnah House could have been easily prevented, but the caretaker CM had barred the police from using weapons. "We wanted to avoid bloodshed in the province."

“Several arsonists were in touch with people inside Zaman Park during the attack on the Corps Commander House. They will be made an example so that no one will carry out such an act in the future,” Mir said.

The interim information minister further added that the government has decided that those who attacked military installations will be tried in military courts.

"Those who have been arrested so far are being fully scrutinised. Cases are being forwarded after 100% confirmation [of their involvement]," Mir maintained.

Reiterating that the "PTI miscreants" crossed a "red line" on May 9, he revealed that 795 attackers have been identified out of which 78 have been physically remanded and 609 have been judicially remanded.

"Those who challenged the writ of the state will be made to run in such a way that they will be able to participate in the Olympics," Mir told journalists in a sarcastic tone warning of serious repercussions.

Khan's arrest by the paramilitary troops, on the directives of the National Accountability Bureau, in Islamabad on May 9 sparked clashes between his supporters and security forces that left at least eight people dead. Scores more were arrested, including close aides and political associates of the PTI leader. 

The National Security Committee, chaired by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, on Tuesday backed a move by the military to take action against those who were part of the violence. 

The army had earlier issued a sharply worded statement saying it would no longer show “restraint” against those who attacked its buildings.