LAHORE: Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif has said that the unfortunate incidents of May 9 were part of a planned, targeted and organised attempt of insurrection against the state.
Talking to the media after visiting the burnt Jinnah House [corps commander’s house in Lahore] here on Friday, he said that on May 9, the violent groups deliberately attacked the installations, memorials, symbols and residences of an institution in a well organised manner. He said that public reaction was always spontaneous, and all kinds of public or private properties were hit by them. But on the black day of May 9, only army’s properties, setups, statues of martyrs, vehicles, buildings and soldiers were targeted.
Khawaja Asif said that the situation created a question as to why such a reaction was not witnessed after the so-called assassination attack on Imran Khan. And why such a reaction was shown when he was merely taken into legal custody, adding that it showed that the attacks on May 9 were planned somewhere else. Elaborating the background of the unprecedented reaction, he said that after his constitutional removal from the office of the prime minister through a successful no-confidence motion, Imran Khan had continuously been targeting Pakistan Army and its leadership in his speeches. He said that it appeared that the people, who had burnt portraits and the piano of Quaid-e-Azam, were not mentally or ideologically Pakistani people, despite having the nationality.
The minister said that the miscreants intentionally demolished, insulted and destroyed Army’s assets and even did not spared Shuhada, who sacrificed their lives for protection of the nation and the country. He said that there could be hundreds of differences with the institutions and politicians, but the red-line, which was crossed on May 9, had never been even thought of crossing in the last 76 years of the national history despite several bigger reactions taking place these years. He said that in the current planned rebellion attempt, no civil building including the Governor’s House and assembly buildings was touched and only army installations were targeted in the same pattern in every city including Lahore, Mardan, Chakdara, Peshawar, Gujranwala, Sargodha, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi and other cities, which showed that the miscreants were given identified targets and they were trained for launching attacks on the state.
The minister said that a message was attempted to be given to the world and enemy that installations and residences of the Pakistan Army were vulnerable. He said that the man had crossed all limits now after removal from the seat. He said that legal action would be taken against all culprits involved in the insurrection. To a question about political leaders of the PTI involved in violence, Khawaja Asif said that majority of people inducted in the PTI were ‘newborn’ politicians and they were prepared in the last 10 to 12 years for the PTI so they did not feel hesitation in leaving the party.
To another question, the minister expressed his hope that the establishment would now never be part of the politics, adding that now when they wanted to quit their role in politics, Imran was again trying to instigate them to participate in politics. To another question, he said that Imran did not condemn the May 9 incidents for 12 days, and when he did so, even then he conditionally condemned it.
To a question about formation of a commission to probe some audio leaks, he said that a group of judges had taken the issue into their own hands and decided to probe their own audios also. Replying to a question, he said that Imran himself was the main character of the rebellion conspiracy; however, people, who were involved in the conspiracy, should be trialed. To a question about the future-role of the establishment in the politics, he hoped that it would not happen again; however, he added that a new social contract was needed to be signed among all stakeholders.
May-9 incidents planned, says Khawaja Asif