The Pakistan Army on Saturday warned that the armed forces “will not tolerate any further attempt of violating the sanctity and security of its installations or vandalism” as it resolved to bring to justice all the “planners, abetters, instigators and executors of vandalism on the Black Day of 9th May”.

According to an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement released after Chief of Army Staff Gen Asim Munir visited the Corps Headquarters Peshawar today, he addressed the officers of the Corps and emphasised the evolving threats to national security.

“We shall continue with our endeavours of peace and stability and there will be no room for spoilers of the process,” he said.

“COAS also sensitised about challenges of information warfare and efforts to create misperceptions. He highlighted that a concerted effort is being made maliciously by inimical elements to target the Armed Forces.”

Gen Munir pledged to foil such nefarious attempts with the support of the people, added the statement.

The army chief’s statement has come as the country recovers from the chaos that ensued after PTI chief Imran Khan’s arrest at the Islamabad High Court on May 9.

The former prime minister was arrested by the National Accountability Burea with help of the paramilitary Rangers — a development that sparked countrywide protests amid incidents of vandalism and violence.

While the protests were under way, social media was flooded with footage of a mob clashing with police in Karachi, attacking and entering the army’s head office, General Headquarters, in Rawalpindi and vandalising the official residence of a high-ranking military officer in Lahore.

The military referred to the day of the violence as a “black chapter”.

Meanwhile, state broadcaster Radio Pakistan’s building was also set on fire in Peshawar.

Imran has blamed the army chief for the arrest episode and distanced himself from the violence that took place in several cities after his arrest.

But, the Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif-led dispensation in Islamabad has held him responsible for the violence and vandalism and said that the perpetrators will be taken to task.

The army chief’s warning today and the resolve to punish those behind these acts of vandalism echoes with the premier’s and interior minister’s statements issued earlier today.

PM Shehbaz tweeted earlier today that he had given law enforcement apparatus a target of 72 hours to arrest “all those involved in facilitating, abetting and perpetrating the disgraceful incidents of arson, ransacking, sabotage and damaging public and private properties” in the wake of the violent protests that took place in the country after Imran was arrested.

Separately, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, during a press conference in Islamabad, termed those involved in acts of vandalism “terrorists”, alleging that they were trained by Imran.

Briefing on counter-terrorism efforts

The ISPR statement issued today also said that Gen Munir gave a detailed briefing at the Corps Headquarters Peshawar on the ongoing counter-terrorism efforts and the prevailing security situation .

“He appreciated the professional competence, performance, and achievements of law enforcement agencies in the ongoing fight against terrorism,” the statement added.

Earlier on arrival, the COAS was received by the Peshawar corps commander.

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