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PM says Imran removed Gen Asim from ISI for pointing out corruption

Shehbaz Sharif says the country won’t survive if May 9 vandals are shown leniency

By By Muhammad Anis
May 23, 2023
Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif addressing a session of the National Assembly. APP/FHA
Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif addressing a session of the National Assembly. APP/FHA

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday said that the country could not afford that any leniency is shown to abettors and perpetrators of violence of May 09 and desecration martyrs’ monuments and attacks on sensitive installations.

“The country will not survive if any leniency was shown to the perpetrators of the arsons on May 9 involving the desecration of the martyrs, monuments, and damaging the security installations,” the prime minister said while speaking in the National Assembly. He said that former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan had removed Gen Asim Munir as Inter Services Intelligence Director General after the pinpointed corruption.

He explained that special laws were being promulgated as the cases pertaining to the attack on civilian infrastructure would be tried under Anti-Terrorism Act and those concerning attacks on the military installations would be heard by the military courts. He observed that the nation would not forget painful incident saying they did not have any personal vendetta.

“But those who desecrated the martyrs, Ghazis, and their monuments, and burnt Jinnah House […] they will have to be tried under the law, and if any leniency is shown to them, the country will not survive,” he said. Shehbaz said the coalition parties had faced many ordeals but the May 9 incident was intolerable. “This is the nation’s trust and I will return it to them,” he remarked. He said the arsons following the arrest of Imran Niazi in a NAB case involving Rs60 billion corruption were the painful incidents the nation never went through. He said during his government Imran Niazi pushed the whole opposition to the wall but they never resorted to damaging the public property.

The prime minister thanked the House for adopting a resolution against May 9 riots. Talking about the Al Qadir Trust case, the prime minister said Rs60 billion was supposed to be transferred to the national kitty but the matter was approved secretively by the then federal cabinet.He said after undermining the Pak-US ties through the allegations of the regime change conspiracy, Imran Niazi was now seeking help from America.

“He also hurt the Pak-China fraternal ties by hurling allegations of corruption in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor,” the premier recalled. He said same China had again come up to support Pakistan on the Kashmir cause by staying away from the G-20 summit being hosted by India in the IIOJ&K, adding that similar reports were also coming about Saudi Arabia and Turkiye.Meanwhile the National Assembly on Monday passed a resolution emphasising that all abettors, planners, facilitators and those directly or indirectly involved in arson and ransacking military installations as well as public and private properties should be prosecuted and tried under the existing laws of the country, including the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997, Army Act 1952, and Pakistan Penal Code 1860.

The resolution moved by Defence Minister Khawaja Asif condemned the shocking, brazen, heart-wrenching and shameless incidents, which took place on May 09, saying the violent incidents tarnished the national image of the country.Expressing its full faith in and complete solidarity and support for the Armed Forces of Pakistan, the House resolved that 9th of May be reckoned as the Black Day.

The House 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,” the resolution said.

The National Assembly reiterated its commitment to national unity, harmony and integrity in the wake of current geostrategic situation and deprecate all anti-state elements which attempt to destabilise the country, and it also emphasised that 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 was totally unacceptable. Taking the floor after passage of the resolution, Khawaja Asif said that the nation should identify those abettors and miscreants who attacked monuments of martyrs and sensitive installations.

He said the PTI leaders were claiming that people from intelligence agencies were instigating violence and guiding mob to sensitive installations. “It will be a big disclosure if people like Dr Yasmin Rashid, Mahmoodur Rasheed, Ejaz Chauhdry, Sheharyar Afridi and Usman Dar belong to any agency,” he said.

The defence minister said that Imran Khan claimed that he was in detention and did not have any knowledge about what was happening on roads. “As a matter of fact, he was issuing directions to his miscreants while inside the court and from the guest house,” he said.

The minister said it also happened after over a week of that the president and Imran condemned acts of violence. He regretted that the PTI leadership challenged the judicial commission headed by Justice Qazi Faez Isa and comprising chief justices of Islamabad High Court and Balochistan High Court to probe into audio leaks issue.

“It should have been acceptable to the PTI had there been Justice Muneeb, Justice Ejaz Ahsan or Justice Naqvi in the commission,” he said.

The National Assembly also adopted a resolution to condemn attack on convoy of Jamaat-e-Islami’s chief Siraj-ul-Haq in Zhob, Balochistan. The resolution was tabled by JI lawmaker Abdul Akbar Chitrali which was adopted by the House. The House demanded a transparent investigation into the suicide attack on the convoy and to punish the perpetrators of this shameful act as per law.