The lower house of parliament on Monday “vehemently condemned” vandalism triggered by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s arrest in a corruption case on May 9 and called for prosecuting rioters under relevant laws including Army Act.
In a resolution tabled by Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, the legislators condemned “shameless incidents” on May 9 and expressed solidarity with armed forces in the wake of attacks on martyrs’ monuments and defence installations across the country following Khan’s arrest in corruption case earlier this month.
The resolution backed the civil-military leadership decision to try rioters under relevant laws of the country including Pakistan Army Act.
It said the lower house of parliament “vehemently condemned the shocking, brazen, heart wrenching and shameless incidents which took place in certain parts of the country on the 9th May 2023”.
The House also expressed its full faith in and complete solidarity and support for the Armed Forces of Pakistan.
The resolution reiterated to observe May 9 as ‘Black Day’— a reference to the unprecedented nearly three days-long violent protests by the PTI supporters following their leader Imran Khan’s arrest.
At least eight people were killed and dozens of others left injured during the countrywide riots with internet services remaining suspended for almost 72 hours in the country.
In today’s session, the legislators also demanded that all abettors, planners, facilitators and those directly or indirectly involved in arson attacks on military installations as well as public and private properties should be prosecuted under the existing laws of the country including the Anti-terrorism Act 1997, Army Act 1952 and Pakistan Penal Code 1860.
Moreover, the resolution urged all relevant authorities to implement social media rules and regulations in order to tackle propaganda being unleashed against the country's institutions, both from within and outside of Pakistan, “under the patronage and facilitation from multiple players”.
“Those involved in such propaganda campaigns should strictly be dealt with as per law,” it added.
The resolution reiterated commitment to national unity, harmony and integrity in the wake of the current geostrategic situation and deprecate all anti-state elements which attempt to destabilise the country.
“...[the] resolution of all political issues must always stay within the realm of parliamentary and democratic norms and resorting to violence against state institutions, public and private properties is totally unacceptable,” it added.
Addressing the assembly, Asif said the rioters only attacked military and public installations and did not cause damage to political offices during the May 9 protests
“Their attack was not on military installations, but on Pakistan,” he said, adding that such an attack was expected from India, not from Pakistanis.
In view of the May 9 vandalism, the defence minister said it had become mandatory to defend the armed forces of the country.
“The nations who do not honour their benefactors are destroyed,” he said.
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