ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday vowed that all the attackers and planners who attacked the armed forces’ installations and disrespected the county’s heroes on May 9 will be brought to justice and no innocent person will be harassed.
The prime minister was addressing the National Security Committee (NSC) meeting, which also endorsed the Corps Commanders’ Conference’s decision to bring the “miscreants, planners, instigators and their facilitators” involved in May 9 events to justice under relevant laws of the Constitution of Pakistan, including through trials under Pakistan Army Act and Official Secrets Act.
Besides, the meeting also stressed the need to resolve political differences through dialogue in accordance with democratic values rather than through confrontation.
The prime minister in his televised address to the NSC’s meeting, stated that whatever happened on May 9, will be remembered as the “darkest chapter” in the country’s history. Chief of Army Staff Gen Syed Asim Munir, Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Chairman Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza, other top leaders of the three forces, key federal ministers and heads of security-related institutions attended the meeting.
“All of us are compelled to think that what was the ideology, group or person behind setting on fire the ‘love’ of Pakistan. Jinnah House is not just a building, it housed the sons that protected Pakistan. They destroyed it. In fact, reduced it to ashes,” the prime minister said.
The prime minister was referring to the violent incidents following the arrest of the former premier and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on May 9 in the Al-Qadir Trust case.
He said those who planned, executed and abetted the vandalism on May 9 certainly committed an act of terrorism. “The planners and leaders of the May 9 events, who attacked military installations and disrespected our martyrs, will be punished and brought to justice,” he vowed.
From May 9 onwards, he added that some gruesome events have taken place, which have shamed Pakistan and which have brought a lot of disgrace and infamy. “They went to the GHQ, the airbase in Mianwali and the ISI’s office in Faisalabad. We never saw such a heinous scheme in the last 75 years…I believe that whoever planned this and incited vandalism, is certainly guilty of terrorism. The abettors also managed to do what Pakistan’s eternal enemy could not do in last 75 years,” he added.
He also called for chalking out measures, including legal, constitutional, and administrative to prevent a repeat of the May 9 events.
“Our nation of 220 million people demands that those who are guilty, in any regard, should be punished so that such incidents do not take place ever again,” he said, adding that the violent protests of May 9 severely damaged Pakistan and “millions of people are angry and upset even today”.
He said the NSC meeting expressed solidarity with the Pakistan Army, and condemned these incidents, adding that the law will take its course.
“No one, if they are innocent, will be given undue punishment but those who are guilty won’t be spared…No one, if guilty of this heinous crime, will be spared even if the prime minister himself gives the order to get anyone guilty of the crime set free,” he further stated.
According to a statement issued after the meeting, the NSC endorsed the Corps Commanders’ Conference’s decision taken on Monday to bring the “miscreants, planners, instigators and their facilitators” involved in May 9 events to justice under relevant laws of the Constitution of Pakistan, including through trails under Pakistan Army Act and Official Secrets Act.
“The forum made it clear that no concessions will be made with those who attack military installations and places under any agenda,” the statement read, adding that the participants reiterated their commitment that any violation of the sanctity and dignity of military installations and public property will not be tolerated and all elements involved in the “Black Day” of May 9 will be brought to justice. It stated that the meeting reiterated that the policy of “zero tolerance” will be adopted by not tolerating violence and chaos in the country. The meeting also decided to mark May 9 as “Black Day” at the national level.
According to the statement, the forum stressed the need to resolve political differences through dialogue in accordance with democratic values rather than through confrontation.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023