ISLAMABAD, May 22 (APP):Minister for Defence, Khawaja Muhammad Asif on Monday categorically rejected former prime minister Imran Khan’s accusations levelled against the coalition government and said no new legislation was enacted rather courts were being established under the exiting laws to try for violence against the state institutions on May 9.
The minister, while tabling a resolution to condemn the May 9 violent incidents and seeking prosecutions of those involved, urged the House to allow the members to express their views on the resolution in support of the armed forces.
He read out the resolution: “Whereas the shocking, brazen, heart wrenching and shameless incidents, which took place in certain parts of the country on the 9th May 2023, and which incidents have tarnished our national image, are vehemently condemned by this House;
“Whereas this House expresses its full faith in and complete solidarity and support for the armed forces of Pakistan; And whereas this House resolves as follows: 1. That 9th May to be reckoned as Black Day.”
He maintained in the resolution that all abettors, planners, facilitators and those directly or indirectly involved in arson, attacks on military installations as well as public and private properties should be prosecuted or tried under the existing laws of the country including, Anti-terrorism Act 1997, Army Act 1952 and Pakistan Penal Code 1860.
It also demanded that all relevant authorities to implement social media rules and regulations in order to tackle propaganda being unleashed against the country’s institutions, both from within and outside of Pakistan, under the patronage and facilitation from multiple players. Those involved in such propaganda campaigns should strictly be dealt with as per law.
“We reiterate our commitment to national unity, harmony and integrity in the wake of current geostrategic situation and deprecate all anti-state elements which attempt to destabilize the country, and that resolution of all political issues must always stay within the realm of parliamentary and democratic norms and resorting to violence against state institutions, public and private properties is totally unacceptable,” the minister said.
He added that the system already possessed the legislation and courts operating under those laws, particularly Anti-Terrorism Act 1997, Army Act 1952, Pakistan Penal Code 1860 were provided for holding trial of those cases that were being scheduled in the law books.
“These courts”, he said, “had already gave rulings and punished culprits like six hangings were done last year comprising a solider and five civilians for committing serious crime and violation to the law of the state.
“Imran Khan in his interview to CNN that I recently watched had blamed that new courts and legislations are being created to suppress his voice. He must have remembered that Pakistan sold its people to the US and the US bought them was that legal, but rather it was illegal,” he added.
He said Imran Khan was calling Americans for his help and sending messages to the US through lobbyists, whereas the people remained detained in Guantanamo Bay for 20 years was that just rather the American record of rendition was clear.
“He is seeking help from those who have this record who neglect human rights abuses in Kashmir and Palestine,” the minister said.
Khawaja Asif underlined that there was no day left when the armed forces personnel and policemen were martyred while fighting against terrorists. “No patriot Pakistani will defame and desecrate its armed forces,” he said.
He said a commission was formed by the Federal Cabinet namely the Audio Leaks Inquiry Commission comprised of the senior most judge of Supreme Court, Islamabad High Court (IHC) and Balochistan High Court (BHC) judges.
“We made the Commission with the intention to clear the facts and reveal the truth behind audio leaks and expose the perpetrators. So that there is nothing fabricated in it.”
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), he said, had challenged the constitution of the Commission, arguing that it was the job of the Chief Justice of Pakistan.
He said no parliamentarian was part of the Commission rather two chief justices of the IHC and the BHC, while its head was Justice Qazi Faiz Esa whose role and his fight against all the allegations made by his own community members defined his character.
“The PTI would have been satisfied if honourable justices Muneeb, Mazahir Naaqvi and Ijaz ul Ahsan were made part of the Commission because all these were part of the previous commissions. There is no doubt and ambiguity in the mind of every Pakistani and mine that the attacks on military installations like GHQ, residences of army officers and bases were perpetrated under an inimical design,” he added.
Only military installations were attacked apart from some civil departments and which could only be expected from India and not Pakistanis, he said. “Without any political affiliation, every parliamentarian has the duty to defend the armed forces in the backdrop of May 9 incidents.”
“The nations who do not respect their martyrs and remember the sacrifices of its saviours have no prestige. The Nishan-e-Haider martyrs gave the supreme sacrifice for motherland but the protestors did not keep that sacrifice of Captain Sher Khan Shaheed while desecrating his mural.”
The Chagi Monument, which was the symbol and identity of the country’s defence, determent and success, was also vandalized, he added.
“Imran Khan said he was unaware of what was happening outside but he remembered to contact Azam Swati as had access to phone while in custody. He used telephone in the court and throughout the night to give instructions to his people,” he alleged.
Khawaja Asif regretted that the former prime minister made a slight condemnation after three days of the incident. “Imran Khan alleged that there were people of agencies in the attack. I name them as the list is available. There were two of his sisters, one of his nephew, Mian Mahmood ur Rasheed, Usman Dar, Ejaz Chauidhary, Shehryar Afridi, Yasmin Rashid and etc. these all have been captured in videos and photos while provoking the people to violence,” he said.