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Tuesday May 21, 2024

'Real leaders acting as victims' will be held accountable, say Gen Asim Munir on May 9 anniversary

Army chief says plotters of May 9 protests were “brazenly and shamelessly trying to twist narrative"

By Web Desk
May 09, 2024
COAS General Asim Munir pictured on his visit to Jinnah House, Lahore Garrison, on May 9, 2024. — ISPR
COAS General Asim Munir pictured on his visit to Jinnah House, Lahore Garrison, on May 9, 2024. — ISPR

Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Syed Asim Munir on Thursday pledged to hold accountable, the individuals who planned and led the events of violence on May 9 last year, as the country marks the first anniversary of countrywide protests. 

The military remembers May 9 as "The Black Day", when charged mobs rampaged and vandalised private and public properties including military installations following Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan’s arrest in 2023. 

"The real leaders who present themselves as victims now will be held accountable for their actions, particularly when there is irrefutable evidence of their involvement and complicity in organised violence and sabotage," the army chief said on his visit to Lahore Garrison today. 

As per a statement released by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the army chief said that the plotters of the riots and violent protests were “brazenly and shamelessly trying to twist the narrative and implicate the state in this despicable endeavour”.

“This mindset is precisely the reason why there can be no compromise or deal with the planners and architects of this dark chapter in our history,” he added.

On the occasion, the COAS was given a detailed briefing on the operational preparedness of the formation, the military’s media wing said. It stated that General Munir also laid a floral wreath at the Martyrs' Monument and paid solemn tribute to the Shuhada who sacrificed their lives for the motherland.

While addressing the Garrison officers and soldiers at the Corps Headquarters, COAS Gen Munir lauded the troops for their services to the nation and appreciated their professionalism.

“9th May will undoubtedly remain a black day in the history of Pakistan when deliberately indoctrinated and insidiously guided miscreants attacked the symbols of the state and national unity, disgracefully desecrating the Shuhada monuments,” he asserted.

He said that "these deplorable acts" of criminally orchestrated violence provided the enemies of Pakistan an opportunity to mock the state and the nation.

The army chief went on to say that the gullible elements, who did not understand the real motive behind this criminal enterprise and were used as cannon fodder for the political ambitions of the masterminds, have already been accorded reasonable benefit of the doubt on the direction of Supreme Court of Pakistan.

However, the real leaders who present themselves as victims now will be held accountable for their actions, particularly when there is irrefutable evidence of their involvement and complicity in organised violence and sabotage, he added.

The ISPR also stated that General Munir then reassured the officers and soldiers of the Pakistan Army that "no one will be allowed to disrespect Shuhada, their families or the institution".

“Planners, abettors, facilitators and culprits of 9th May will be brought to justice according to the law of the land and our patience not to respond to daily provocations in this regard made in brazen violation of the Constitution has limits and it must never be misconstrued as weakness,” it stated quoting the army chief.

Moreover, General Munir underscored that inimical forces and their abettors have unleashed digital terrorism and are trying hard to create division between the Armed Forces and the people of Pakistan through peddling lies, fake news and propaganda.

However, the designs of all these forces will be defeated with the support of the nation, he added.

Later, the COAS inaugurated the Jinnah Library at Lahore Garrison and said that the military, being the constructive forces, had rekindled the memory of Quaid by building this public library over the piles of ash and rubble created by the destructive forces.

He asserted that every soldier and officer of the Pakistan Army put his duties and responsibilities first, regardless of any other affiliations or preferences and continued to render extreme sacrifices on a daily basis.

Earlier on arrival, Gen Munir was received by the Lahore Corps commander.