ISLAMABAD: Army chief General Asim Munir on Thursday said the disrespect of martyrs would “never be forgiven”, as a parliamentary panel sought action against arsonists over attacks on civil and military installations on May 9 following the arrest of Imran Khan.

Addressing the families of the martyrs on Reverence of Martyrs Day, or Youm-i-Takreem-i-Shuhada-i-Pakistan, Gen Munir said that the nation would neither forgive nor forget those who desecrated the memorials of martyrs and undermined their dignity.

The main ceremony of the day was held in General Headquarters (GHQ) Rawalpindi, where Gen Munir was the chief guest. The participants included Pakistan cricket team skipper Babar Azam and wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan. However, the presence of former army chief retired General Qamar Javed Bajwa, who was seen sitting next to his successor, become the talk of town.

Gen Munir, retired Gen Bajwa, senior officers of the military and police, religious scholars, civil society and cricketers also laid floral wreaths on the memorial. The chairman joint chiefs of staff committee (CJCSC), services chiefs, retired officers and representatives of civil society paid rich tributes to the martyrs who rendered ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty for ensuring integrity, sovereignty and honour of the nation and motherland.The army chief also addressed the families of the police martyrs at the Police Lines in Islamabad. On arrival at the police headquarters, where he was received by Inspector General of Islamabad police, Dr Akbar Nasir Khan.

Senate panel expresses ‘solidarity’ with military, seeks fair probe into May 9 violence

On the occasion, Gen Munir said, “What happened on May 9 is very sad and condemnable. Nothing can nullify the sacrifices of those martyrs who have been granted eternal life by Allah Almighty.”

“I want to convey this message to the heirs of the martyrs that today the people of Pakistan and the Pakistan Army stand and will continue to stand with the families of the martyrs of all law enforcement agencies,” the army chief added.

The military’s media wing Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement that the sacrifices of martyrs are eternal, will continue to inspire future generations of countrymen and will never be forgotten, irrespective of vicious propaganda by the enemies of Pakistan.

“Today is a day for the entire nation to commemorate and honour each and every shaheed of the armed forces, law enforcement agencies and the civil society who laid their lives for upholding the very purpose and ideals Pakistan stands for,” the statement said.

“Shuhada e Pakistan are our heroes and a great asset, whose ultimate sacrifices can never be allowed to be demeaned or undermined by anyone. Pakistani nation takes pride and solemnly pledges to remain deeply indebted to them and their proud families. Shuhada were, are and will continue to be our pride, come what may,” it added.

Senate panel in solidarity with army

The Senate Standing Committee on Defense, under the chairmanship of Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, convened a significant meeting to discuss matters related to national security and public welfare.

The meeting encompassed an array of agenda items, including the commemoration of ‘Youm-i-Takreem-i-Shuhada’, condemnation of the May 9 arson and vandalism incidents, and the resolution of a land issue in Turbat, Balochistan.

To commence the proceedings, the committee members paid their respect to the martyrs by offering ‘fateha’ on the occasion of the martyrs’ day.

During the meeting, the committee unanimously passed a resolution expressing “unwavering solidarity” with Pakistan’s armed forces and condemning the incidents of arson and vandalism that occurred on May 9. The resolution reflected the committee’s strong commitment to upholding peace, stability, and security within the country and demanded the culprits should be caught and brought to justice, following the due process of law after a transparent investigation.

Senator Sayed acknowledged the invaluable role played by the armed forces in safeguarding the nation’s interests and called for continued support to strengthen their capabilities.

The committee also discussed the land issue in Turbat which Senator Naseema Ehsan raised as a point of public importance, prompting the committee to thoroughly investigate the matter.

The officials of the Ministry of Defence, led by Secretary Hamooduz Zaman Khan provided a comprehensive briefing on the issue which was welcomed and appreciated by the committee.

After hearing the perspectives of all concerned, the committee unanimously concluded that the issue at hand was not one of “land occupation but rather of land transfer”.

The Committee unanimously observed that the “land was acquired by Pakistan Navy lawfully from the Government of Balochistan and by fulfilling all the formalities, including payment of all amounts due.”

The committee while disposing of the matter emphasised that the matter was sub judice in the Supreme Court and the responsibility for resolving this issue rested with the Balochistan government as compensation had already been paid. The committee directed the Pakistan Navy to engage in dialogue with the affected individuals to resolve the issue amicably.

Published in Dawn, May 26th, 2023

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