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Tuesday February 27, 2024

Wide range of probe, actions underway to punish May 9 attackers, planners

FIRs under ATC and PPC are registered against thousands of persons in different parts of the country.

May 16, 2023
Men on a bike ride past a burning police vehicle during a protest by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party activists and supporters of former prime minister Imran against the arrest of their leader, in Quetta on May 9, 2023. —AFP
Men on a bike ride past a burning police vehicle during a protest by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party activists and supporters of former prime minister Imran against the arrest of their leader, in Quetta on May 9, 2023. —AFP

ISLAMABAD: May 9th destruction of public and private properties and attack on defence installations, buildings and memorials by PTI protesters in different parts of the country has resulted in initiation of a wide range of actions and investigations by federal and provincial authorities against the culprits.

Interior Ministry, provincial home departments, Police, Nadra, defence, security and intelligence agencies all are busy doing their job to ensure that those who took the law in their hand and attacked the defence institutions of the country are not spared and made an example for others.

The attackers are being identified and arrested under Anti-Terrorist Act and Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). Trial of some of the accused under Army Act is also under consideration. The police and security agencies are also busy gathering evidence of a possible “plot”. The federal, provincial governments and security agencies insist that the attacks on defence buildings, installations, symbols was all pre-planned.

A key interior ministry source insists that the authorities will be able to unearth the “plot” with the help of available videos, audios and statements of those being arrested and probed.

The FIRs under ATC and PPC are registered against thousands of persons in different parts of the country.

The PTI and its chairman Imran Khan though denied that these destructions were caused by the PTI workers or there was any pre-planned conspiracy to attack Pakistan Army, the government sources insist that many of those involved in arson attacks were organised members of the alleged “cult”, trained and created for the purpose by the PTI.

“We have proof,” said the interior ministry source, and added that the targets for violent attacks, in case of Imran Khan’s arrest, were already identified. The PTI says that it was the PDM government that had infiltrated saboteurs among the PTI protesters to cause destruction of public and private properties.

When asked about the possibility of trying any number of attackers under Army Act, the source said that it is under consideration of the defence authorities, who will finally decide whether to do it or not.

It is said that there will be zero tolerance against those who had caused the May 9th destruction. The attackers, the planners, the facilitators all will be taken to task, the source said, adding that the National Security Committee meeting on Tuesday will also focus on the actions being taken by the federal, provincial and defence authorities.

Imran Khan on Monday feared that the PTI may be banned. However, there is no decision taken as yet by the government in this regard. A ministerial source said that ban on PTI may be the consequence of criminal actions already under way.

In view of the damage caused by the attackers on May 9, the prime minister, federal cabinet, Army Chief, Chief Minister Punjab and other authorities have already resolved not to spare any of the attackers.

After the May 9 attacks, the ISPR pledged a ‘strong response’ if further attacks on military and state installations are carried out by miscreants. After attacks on army installations by miscreants, the military’s media wing said that May 9 will be remembered as a black chapter in history. The ISPR had said that the attacks were carried out on the army properties and installations in an organised way just after Imran Khan’s arrest and anti-army slogans were chanted.

“On one side, evil elements incited public sentiments for their self-serving purposes, one the other hand, they used to highlight the importance of armed forces for the country which is an example of double standards,” the ISPR statement read, explaining that a group wearing a political cloak had done the same work which enemies of Pakistan could not do for 75 years. “A serious response of the Pakistan Army foils the conspiracy. Some evil leadership of the political party is behind it. The facilitators, planners and political miscreants have been identified. The evil elements will be responsible for the consequences and strict legal action will be taken. A strong response will be given in case of further attacks on the military and state installations.”