• Pledges support for national consensus to address political instability
• Vows to defeat, with nation’s support, propaganda warfare against military leadership
• Case being prepared over attack on Faisalabad ISI office

ISLAMABAD: Top military brass on Monday vowed to bring the arsonists, who attacked the civil and military installations, to justice through trial under relevant laws of the country, including Pakistan Army Act and Official Secrets Act.

In the strongest possible sense, the special Corps Commanders Conference (CCC) condemned the politically motivated and instigated incidents against military installations and public/private properties.

The corps commanders deliberated upon the recent law and order situation that a political party’s leadership exploited for political gains and vowed to deal with them in the strongest possible terms.

The participants were also briefed that the arsonists had created this situation to disrepute the army and to achieve a personal, political agenda.

In a briefing at the meeting, which was held at GHQ and presided over by Chief of Army Staff Gen Syed Asim Munir, it was disclosed that the motive behind a well-coordinated arson plan, involving desecration of the pictures of Shuhada, monuments, burning down of historical buildings and vandalism of military installations, was executed to malign the institution and provoke it towards giving an impulsive reaction.

Irrefutable evidence

“Based on the irrefutable evidence collected so far, armed forces are well aware of the planners, ins­ti­gators, abettors and perpetrators of these attacks, and attempts to create distortions in this regard are absolutely futile,” claimed Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the military’s media wing, in a statement.

The commanders expre­ssed firm resolve that those involved in the heinous crimes against military installations, personnel and equipment would be brought to justice thro­ugh trials under relevant laws of the country, inclu­ding Pakistan Army Act and Official Secrets Act.

The forum resolved that restraint would no longer be exercised against the perpetrators, spoilers and violators who attack military installations and set-ups under any circumstances.

Tribute to martyrs

The participants at the conference paid rich tribute to martyrs who laid their lives in defence of the motherland while figh­ting the menace of terrorism. The forum acknowledged the successful counterterrorism and intelligence-based operations being carried out by security forces, especially the valiant response given by the troops in the Muslim Bagh attack, and paid rich tribute to the supreme sacrifices made by the brave sons of the soil.

The military commanders were briefed in detail about the prevailing internal and external security environment. They took comprehensive stock of the law and order situation created during the past few days to achieve vested political interests.

Campaign against leadership

The forum expressed concern over externally sponsored and internally facilitated, orchestrated propaganda warfare, unleashed against the army leadership, meant to create fissures between armed forces and people of Pakistan, and within ranks and file of the armed forces.

It was decided that the vicious propaganda of such inimical forces would be defeated with the support of people of Pakistan who have always stood with the armed forces during all odds.

The forum highlighted the need for strict implementation of relevant laws to penalise violators of social media rules and regulations.

Political instability

It also called for national consensus among all stakeholders to address ongoing political instability on priority to restore public confidence, reinvigorate economic activity and strengthen democratic process. For this, the forum resolved to support all such efforts to reach the much-needed consensus.

It resolved that Pakistan Army with full support of the nation would defeat all nefarious designs of the enemies of the country.

Attack on ISI office

According to sources, the military also started preparing a case under Pakistan Army Act against some suspects for allegedly storming the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) office in Faisalabad.

They said that those being prosecuted under the PAA include Ali Afzal Sahi, son-in-law of the Lahore High Court chief justice, his brother Junaid Afzal Sahi, Faizullah Kamoka, Sunni Ittehad Council chairman Sahibzada Hamid Raza, former Faisalabad district bar president Bilal Ashraf Busra, Dr Asad Muazzam, Hassan Zaka Khan Niazi, Haji Ayaz Tareen Khan and others.

Earlier, it emerged through a leaked conversation purportedly between the Lahore district bar president and Imtiaz Loona of Faisalabad bar that after the attack on ISI office, some of these individuals, including the Sahi brothers, had taken refuge in the Faisalabad bar to avoid arrest, but to no avail.

Published in Dawn, May 16th, 2023

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