Islamabad: The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the media wing of the Pakistan Army, has termed the events that unfolded on May 9 as a “black chapter” in the country’s history, according to The Express Tribune.
The ISPR in a statement issued in Urdu on Wednesday referred to the protests that were held after the arrest of former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. The ISPR said that the protests particularly targeted army property and installations.
In a strongly-worded statement, the military’s media wing asserted that no one will be allowed to take the law into their own hands. Citing the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) statement and law, the ISPR justified the arrest of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan, as per the news report.
ISPR said that there was a wave of attacks witnessed on the army’s properties and installations along with anti-army slogans being chanted following the arrest of Imran Khan. It condemned those actions and raised its concerns regarding the tactics used by certain elements within the protesting groups.
“Soon after [Khan’s arrest], there were organised attacks on army properties and installations and anti-army slogans were raised,” the military’s media wing said according to The Express Tribune report.
The ISPR criticised the protesters and termed their actions as an attempt to manipulate the country’s sentiments for their own limited and selfish objectives. The military wing said, “This is an example of hypocrisy. It stressed on the importance of maintaining law and order and highlighted the need to respect the institutions of Pakistan, according to The Express Tribune report.
According to the statement, the army has shown extreme tolerance, patience, and restraint and has worked with utmost patience and endurance in the best interests of the country. The ISPR in the statement said, “As per the strategy, a situation was created to use the army’s response for nefarious political purposes which was thwarted by the army’s vigilant response.”
It further said, “We are well aware that behind this, there were some orders, instructions, and complete planning of some nefarious leaders of the party.” The ISPR said that those involved in facilitating, planning and political instigation have been identified and strict action as per the law will be taken against them. The ISPR warned that “strong and decisive action” will be taken in the event of any further attacks on military and state installations, as per the news report.
Attack and vandalism by PTI workers have been reported in PAFMM Alam Air Base Mianwali, The Pakistan Daily reported in a tweet. Several violent protests erupted across Pakistan including at the General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi and the residence of the Corps Commander in Lahore, which was once the house of Mohammed Ali Jinnah, following the arrest of former prime minister Imran Khan on Tuesday afternoon.
People took to the streets, resorted to violence, arson and even raised many slogans to register their resentment against the arrest of ex-PM of Pakistan and PTI chief Imran Khan, across Pakistan including Lahore, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Faisalabad, Karachi, Quetta, Mardan, Bannu, and Chilas.
The protesting mob resorted to stone pelting on houses, offices and vehicles, burning banners and tyres and blocking roads. Several videos surfacing on social media platforms show groups of men, some with their faces covered, entering the gated premises of GHQ with sticks, which they later were seen using to hit the walls.