Image source: Imran Khan, former Prime Minister of PTI Pakistan
Amid political turmoil in Pakistan, its defense minister, Khawaja Asif, has said it is likely that former prime minister Imran Khan will face trial in a military court for his alleged involvement in the May 9 incidents during from which military and state installations have been attacked by members of his party. Khan, 70, could face trial in a military court if evidence of his involvement in the May 9 violence emerges in the coming days, Asif was quoted by The Express Tribune newspaper as saying.
He also confirmed that no complaint had been registered to date against Pakistani leader Tehreek-e-Insaf in connection with the May 9 attacks. There is certainly a chance that Imran Khan could be tried by a military court, the minister said while answering a question on whether the ousted prime minister could be prosecuted under the army law.
What happened on May 9?
His remarks came days after Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said Khan would be tried by a military tribunal because the former prime minister was the “architect” of the May 9 incidents. The Khans party found itself in hot waters when protesters allegedly belonging to the party attacked civilian and military properties on May 9 following Khan’s arrest in the Al-Qadir corruption case.
The trial of those involved in the attacks on military installations in different parts of the country, including the attack on the headquarters in Rawalpindi as well as the Lahores Jinnah house where the corps commander resided, has already started.
Earlier, Asif reportedly said no decision has been made on the cricketer-turned-politician’s trial under the Army Act, but he did not rule out the possibility on the grounds that Khan was the mastermind. behind the May 9 violence and knew everything about what was happening that day.
Statements by the defense and interior ministers alluding to Khan’s trial in military court stem from the federal cabinet’s decision that protesters who vandalized military installations on May 9 would be tried under the Security Act. the military and the Official Secrets Act.
No new military tribunal would be established
Government ministers have repeatedly stated that no new military tribunals will be established and that suspects will be tried by the special permanent tribunals that were already operating under the Army Act.
Army Chief General Asim Munir also said the perpetrators, planners and executors of the May 9 attacks would be tried under the Army Act and the Official Secrets Act, adding that no clemency would be granted to those who attacked military installations.
Khan has denied involvement in the violence, saying he was in jail when the incidents took place. He said the establishment planned to keep him in prison for 10 years in a sedition case. On May 9, violent protests erupted after Khan was arrested by paramilitary Rangers in Islamabad. Members of his party vandalized more than 20 military installations and government buildings, including the corps commander’s house in Lahore, the Mianwali air base and the ISI building in Faisalabad.
The Army Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi was also attacked by mobs for the first time. Khan was later released on bail. The violence has drawn a strong response from the government and military with vows to take action against the culprits, leading to a continued crackdown on those involved. Law enforcement arrested more than 10,000 Pakistani Khan party workers across Pakistan, including 4,000 from Punjab.
Police have killed 10 people in violent clashes while Khan’s party says 40 of its staff lost their lives in gunfire from security personnel. Punjab police previously claimed, citing a geofencing report, that Khan and his close aides allegedly coordinated efforts to storm the Lahore corps commander’s residence and other buildings.
Also Read: Imran Khan to File Rs 15 Billion Lawsuit Against National Accountability Bureau Chairman
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