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Tuesday June 18, 2024

Army commanders link stability with prosecution of May 9 perpetrators

"Nation is fully cognisant of their ugly and ulterior motives," says forum

By Zarmeen Zehra
May 30, 2024
Chief of Army Staff General Asim Munir presiding over the 83rd Formation Commanders Conference at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi in this still taken from a video released today. — ISPR
Chief of Army Staff General Asim Munir presiding over the 83rd Formation Commanders Conference at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi in this still taken from a video released today. — ISPR

RAWALPINDI: Over a year after the country witnessed the violent May 9 riots, the military leadership of the country Thursday reiterated its call for bringing the planners, perpetrators, abettors, and facilitators of May 9 riots to justice for the "collective good of the country".

The commanders — all of whom gathered at the General Headquarters (GHQ) for the 83rd Formation Commanders Conference — maintained stability in the country will remain hostage to the machinations of such elements if there is no swift and transparent dispensation of justice to the culprits and establishing the rule of law, said a statement released by the military's media wing.

According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the military's forum was presided over by Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Syed Asim Munir

The statement issued by the ISPR about the forum — attended by Corps Commanders, Principal Staff Officers, and all Formation Commanders of Pakistan Army — comes weeks after the country observed the completion of a year to the violent riots that ravaged the nation, harming the sanctity of state institutions, on May 9, 2023.

The riots followed Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan's arrest on the aforementioned date during which party workers protested and took to the streets across the country, damaging public and private property.

During the forum, the military leadership underscored that politically motivated and vested digital terrorism, unleashed by conspirators duly abetted by their foreign cohorts, against state institutions is clearly meant to try to induce despondency in the Pakistani nation, to sow discord among national institutions, especially the Armed Forces, and the people of Pakistan by peddling blatant lies, fake news, and propaganda.

"However, the nation is fully cognisant of their ugly and ulterior motives and surely the designs of these nefarious forces will be comprehensively defeated, InshaAllah," said the forum.

The forum, the ISPR added, was briefed on the dynamics of the geo-strategic environment, emerging challenges to national security, and the Army's strategy to counter multi-domain threats.

"The participants were also briefed on technological innovations to modernise the Army and optimise logistic support to field formations, in line with fast-evolving operational environment."

The military's media wing said that the forum expressed serious concerns over continued cross-border violations from Afghanistan and terrorism being orchestrated using Afghan soil, noting that Pakistan's adversaries were using Afghanistan to target Security Forces and innocent civilians inside Pakistan.

"The forum acknowledged the priceless sacrifices of the people of newly merged districts (NMDs) in the war against terrorism and underscored the importance of uplifting the NMDs to decisively defeat terrorism," it added.

The forum also underlined the need for socio-economic development in Balochistan to counter externally propagated narratives of exclusion, exploited by foreign-sponsored proxies to lead Balochistan's youth away from peace and progress.

It resolved to continue its full support towards government initiatives in various domains for sustainable economic growth and curbing illegal activities, including smuggling, hoarding, electricity theft, implementation of one document regime, dignified repatriation of illegal foreigners, and safeguarding of the national database, etc.

"The COAS appreciated the high standard of training displayed by formations during various exercises and the excellent performance of officers and troops in counter-terrorism operations," the statement read.

It added that the COAS commended the formations for their high morale and round-the-clock operational readiness.

The participants at the forum expressed their complete satisfaction with the steps being taken at the army level for the training, administration, and welfare of serving and retired officers and troops. The forum noted the significant milestone achieved by Pakistan on Youm-e-Takbir and its stabilising impact on the region.

Reviewing the prevailing situation on the Eastern border and the latest round of extra-judicial murders in IIOJK, the forum expressed complete solidarity with the Kashmiri people in their just struggle for the inalienable right to self-determination as enshrined in UNSC Resolutions.

The forum showed concern over the treatment of minorities, especially Muslims, in India and noted the growing fascism being perpetrated to achieve vested political ends, the statement mentioned.

The country's military leadership also expressed complete solidarity with the people of Palestine and condemned serious human rights violations and war crimes being perpetrated in Gaza, supporting the International Court of Justice decision to stop Rafah Operation and all other operations within the Gaza Strip.

The conference concluded by affirming the resolve to neutralise all threats to the security and stability of the country with the full backing of the proud nation.

The leadership of the country's military also offered fateha and paid tribute to the supreme sacrifices of martyrs, including officers and men of the armed forces, law enforcement agencies, and citizens of Pakistan who laid their lives for the country's safety, security, and sovereignty.