Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Asim Munir vowed on Wednesday that all those responsible for “bringing shame to the nation on the Black Day of May 9” will be brought to justice and that such “orchestrated tragic incidents” would never be allowed again at any cost.
According to a press release issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the army chief made the remarks during a visit to the Sialkot Garrison, where he was received by Commander Gujranwala Corps.
The military’s media wing said that the COAS, upon arrival, laid floral wreaths at the Martyrs’ Monument and paid rich tribute to the shuhada (martyrs) who sacrificed their lives for the pride, honour and dignity of the nation.
“The martyrs have been promised the highest abode in the life hereafter and shall continue to maintain the highest levels of respect amongst the people of Pakistan.
“The State of Pakistan and Armed Forces will always maintain all Shuhada and their families in very high esteem and continue to honour them and their supreme sacrifices with utmost respect and dignity,” the ISPR statement quoted the army chief as saying.
Gen Munir further stated that no one would be allowed to disrespect the martyrs and their monuments. “They are a source of inspiration and pride for the rank and file of the armed forces, law enforcement agencies, government officials and the people of Pakistan.”
He underscored that the recently planned and orchestrated tragic incidents would never be allowed again at any cost.
The army chief also appreciated the under-command formations for their hard work, devotion, high morale and professionalism.
“During his interaction with officers and troops, COAS stressed upon maintaining focus on the army’s professionalism and preparedness to deal with complex internal and external security challenges including propaganda warfare,” the military’s media wing added.
The ISPR statement is the most recent among several condemnations, issued both by the army and the government, that have emerged following the events of May 9 — the day PTI Chairman Imran Khan was arrested.
May 9 and after
On May 9, Imran was arrested by the National Accountability Burea with the help of the paramilitary Rangers at the Islamabad High Court in the Al Qadir Trust case — a development that sparked countrywide protests amid incidents of vandalism and violence.
Following the episode, the military has issued three statements in relevance to May 9 events, with the first one terming the day a “dark chapter” in the country’s history.
In its second statement issued last week, the army said it “will not tolerate any further attempt of violating the sanctity and security of its installations or vandalism” and resolved to bring to justice all the “planners, abetters, instigators and executors of [the] vandalism”.
And in a more stringent step, the top military brass vowed on Monday to bring the arsonists who attacked the civil and military installations to justice through trial under relevant laws, including the Pakistan Army Act and Official Secrets Act.
The decision was taken at a special Corps Commanders Conference, which condemned the “politically motivated and instigated incidents against military installations and public/private properties”.
Most recently, the National Security Committee — which is the highest forum for coordination on security issues, was convened under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif — reaffirmed yesterday (Tuesday) the commitment to try those involved in the May 9 violence under army laws.