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Multiple high-ranking officers dismissed from service over failure to protect military installations: ISPR DG

Maj Gen Chaudhry says May 9 miscreants did what enemy of Pakistan couldn't do

By Web Desk
June 26, 2023

DG ISPR Major General Ahmed Sharif Chaudhry is addressing the media at GHQ in Rawalpindi in this still taken from a video on June 26, Saturday. — YouTube/GeoNews
DG ISPR Major General Ahmed Sharif Chaudhry is addressing the media at GHQ in Rawalpindi in this still taken from a video on June 26, Saturday. — YouTube/GeoNews 

Director General (DG) of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Ahmed Sharif Chaudhry announced on Monday that at least three officers, including a lieutenant general, have been dismissed from services for their failure to protect military installations on May 9.

The statement came during the DG ISPR's — the military's spokesperson — press conference at the General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi as he came down hard on the May 9 vandals and the people responsible for inciting hate against the military.

The ISPR DG further said that disciplinary action has been taken against 15 officers including three major generals and seven brigadiers.

He said three officers including a Lt general have been dismissed from service.

He added that a granddaughter of a retired four-star general and a son-in-law of a retired four-star general have been arrested in connection with the probe into May 9 riots.

Moreover, a wife of a retired three-star general and while a wife and son-in-law of a retired two-star general are undergoing accountability process, he added.

Maj Gen Chaudhry said the families of martyrs and all ranks of army are raising questions over the May 9 incidents and the desecration of martyrs’ monuments in many parts of the country during the riots.

"The May 9 incidents have proved that the what the enemy of Pakistan couldn't do was done by these miscreants," he added.

The ISPR DG further said that the May 9 incidents are “highly condemnable, a black chapter in Pakistan's history and a big conspiracy against the country”.

Probe into May 9 violence underway

Speaking about the protests that broke out following Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan's arrest, ISPR DG Maj Gen Chaudhry said that evidences related to the May 9 incidents have been collected as investigation into the violence is underway.

He said that the Pakistan Army is eliminating the terrorists from the country on a daily basis. "The families of the martryrs are hurt and they are asking tough questions as to when will the people involved [in the May 9 incidents] be brought to justice," he added.

“All the ranks within the army are asking why they should sacrifice their lives if the memorials of the martyrs are being desecrated like this.”

Expressing regret over the May 9 mayhem, the ISPR DG said the planning of the violent incidents was done several months ago. "The people were manipulated by this outrageous narrative," he added.

Maj Gen Chaudhry also said that the operation against terrorism is going smoothly.

"A poisonous propaganda is being spread against Pakistan forces. A false propaganda has been carried out for political purposes and lust for power," he said, adding that the nation cannot be separated from the army and there is complete coordination and transparency in army's decision making.

"As many as 95 officers and jawans [soldiers] lost their lives. However, the successful war against terrorism will continue until all terrorists are eliminated,” said the chief military’s spokesperson.

He added that the Pakistan Army will continue to make sacrifices for the defence of the country and welfare of the people.

He added that come what may, the forces will not hesitate from to make any sacrifices for the country.

Military courts convicts have right to appeal

The ISPR chief also stressed that the May 9 events will not be forgotten and those involved will not be forgiven. "All the people involved will be punished under the Constitution and law," he assured.

"The process of self-accountability in the army is done without any discrimination," he added.

Speaking about the military trials of May 9 vandals, the ISPR DG said that case is being heard in the Supreme Court.

"The military courts did not come into existence after May 9, they were already present and functioning. The civil courts have transferred these cases to the military courts after checking evidence and as per the law," he said.

Maj Gen Chaudhry also said that the suspects have full legal rights and the right to appeal. "They also have the right to appeal in the Supreme Court. The Army Act has been the part of the law and Constitution for decades," he added.

‘Terrorists hide behind rights violations narrative’

The ISPR DG said that "nothing could be more shameful than blaming the May 9 tragedy on the army and agencies".

He told the media persons that military installations on 200 locations across the country were attacked within hours on May 9.

"Did the army conspire against itself or the army had already deployed their agents? Or did we burn the memorials of our martyrs?" he questioned. He also asked who was running the unknown accounts and propagating for arson at that time.

"A [fake] narrative of human rights violations is created against Pakistan and the terrorist organisations usually hide behind this narrative," he added.

The ISPR DG said that social media was used against the army and fake videos and audios were circulated as a part of the propaganda.

"They make them [NGOs] say that the Pakistan Army is committing atrocities in Pakistan and the foreign organisations are asked to stop economic support to Pakistan," he lamented.

‘Countering propaganda is essential’

The ISPR DG advised against spreading creating news and sensationalism saying that responsible journalism is important for the country to counter the propaganda.

While calling for stopping social media propaganda, Maj Gen Chaudhry said positive discussion and criticism should be promoted.

He said objective behind the May 9 incidents was to provoke the army to react immediately.

“The planners wanted the army to react strongly and create chaos in the country,” the ISPR chief added.

However, he said the military foiled the conspiracy by showing restraint on May 9 and gave a mature response.

He said those army officers who showed negligence during May 9 riots were punished as per law.

'Defence budget is at lowest level'

He further stressed that containing internal chaos is essential as it may pave way for the external attack.

Speaking about the economic situation in the country, Maj Gen Chaudhry said that the defence budget is at the lowest level in the history of the country which is close to 12.5% this year, adding that last year it was 16% according to GDP.

He added that the defence budget will increase if the economy grows.