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Thursday May 23, 2024

Govt’s report and the unanswered questions about May 9

Imran Khan was blamed by the report for actively contributing to the planning of May 9 attacks

By Ansar Abbasi
May 15, 2024
PTI activists and supporters of former prime minister Imran Khan, clash with police during a protest against the arrest of their leader in Peshawar on May 10, 2023. — AFP
PTI activists and supporters of former prime minister Imran Khan, clash with police during a protest against the arrest of their leader in Peshawar on May 10, 2023. — AFP

ISLAMABAD: The caretaker government’s report on May 9 attacks does not share evidence of its allegations against Imran Khan and others, named in the official document.

Imran Khan was blamed by the report for actively contributing to the planning of May 9 attacks besides several other PTI leaders. The report, however, does not share the evidence or offers the details of how, when and where Imran Khan and others had planned the May 9 attacks.

A source, who was part of the cabinet-committee which had prepared the report on May 9, however, told The News all the required evidence is available with the authorities concerned, including the ministries of interior, defence and law. He said the evidence could be made public if the government desires so.

The report’s findings and its conclusion were drawn on the basis of evidence shown to the committee by the federal and provincial authorities concerned. The cabinet committee did not interview the PTI leaders or those accused in the report for their alleged role in the May 9 violence.

The report said, “As per the advice of Cabinet Division placed, the Cabinet or its Committees do not have ‘any formal powers of inquiry or investigation under the Rules of Business, 1973’. The deliberations of Cabinet and its Committees depend entirely on the information provided to them by the divisions and departments concerned”. The report said, “Accordingly, the Committee considered the information provided to it by divisions concerned. The Committee also invited detailed briefings and input from the ministries of interior and defence. The Ministry of Interior also obtained, collated and presented information from the provincial police departments and the Intelligence Bureau”.

Similarly, the report said, “Ministry of Defence provided information made available to it by agencies under its purview. The data provided to the Committee was critically examined. Representatives of the divisions concerned were questioned to afford the Committee a better understanding of the facts and circumstances. This report is based on the information, documents and materials provided by the ministries of interior and defence.”

Although, the Committee has officially documented what the authorities have been alleging against Imran Khan and others since May 9, its report still left the questions raised about the nature of evidence against the accused unanswered. For example, the report says, “Evidence shown to the Committee suggests several party leaders were involved in this planning. It further suggests Khan actively contributed to it”. There are no details in the report to substantiate these allegations.

Ever since the occurrence of May 9, questions are raised and evidence is sought about Imran Khan being the “mastermind” and “planner” of the attacks on military installations. However, such evidence has not yet been shared with the media or made public. Referring to authorities’ investigations, the report alleges, “There were 34 individuals who masterminded the strategy of violent street power, actively contributed to planning the violence and mayhem. Additionally, 52 individuals contributed to the detailed planning and 185 individuals executed this plan”. Neither their names, how and where they had planned the May 9 nor evidence against them is shared in the report. The report, however, said, “These individuals have been proceeded against under relevant laws and charges against them are being adjudged by various courts of competent jurisdiction”.