- The premier says IK-led mob torched Jinnah House in Lahore like terrorists set Ziarat Residency on fire
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Sunday that May 9 was the darkest day in Pakistan’s history when Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan-led miscreants torched the Corps Commander House - also known as Jinnah House in Lahore like the terrorists had set Quaid’s Residency in Ziarat on fire during 2013.
He made these remarks while addressing a high-level meeting to review the law and order situation at the Prime Minister’s House.
The government blames May 9 violence following Imran Khan’s arrest on PTI. However, the PTI chief refutes the government’s allegations and claims that the attacks on military installations were pre-planned to justify the crackdown on his party.
The premier said on May 9, Imran Khan and his followers stoked terrorism and violence that amounted to anti-state acts.
“They caused damage to such a huge extent that even the enemies of Pakistan could not do it in the last 75 years,” he added.
The prime minister further equated the attack on GHQ by the PTI leaders and supporters to the one mounted by the terrorist outfit TTP in the past.
He said the terrorists had attacked a naval facility in Karachi in the past and the PTI leader and his supporters damaged the plane in Mianwali which had been used to defend the country.
“Unfortunately, these Pakistanis turned into enemies of the country and carried out attacks. Radio Pakistan and several other buildings were attacked,” he added.
“Such agonizing incidents will continue to haunt the nation,” the prime minister regretted.
Seeking progress on the legal proceedings against the culprits, the prime minister reiterated that during previous meetings, it was decided that anyone involved in the incidents of planning, instigating, sloganeering, and vandalism would not escape the iron claws of law.
Regarding damages caused to the civilian buildings, it was decided that the cases would be tried under the Anti-Terrorism Act and those on military installations would proceed under the relevant laws, he maintained.
Attack on Corp Commander’s house in Lahore
Following Imran’s arrest last week on Tuesday, protesters torched the Jinnah House, which was being used as the residence of the Lahore corps commander.
The piano, writing table, desk, and sword of the founder of Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, were also set ablaze by miscreants.
These antiques had been donated by the Quaid to the government of Pakistan, and they were preserved in Jinnah House as national heritage, sources told Business Recorder.
“Over 150 policemen were injured during violent protests across Punjab after the arrests of PTI Chief. At least 63 policemen were injured in Lahore, 28 in Rawalpindi, 21 in Faisalabad, 10 in Attock, 13 in Gujranwala, five in Sialkot and six in Mianwali,” sources said.
Caretaker Chief Minister Punjab Mohsin said he would not sit with comfort until the arrest of each and every person responsible for the vandalism.