May 9 violence, victims await justice

The Islamabad High Court has directed former Prime Minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan to join the investigation of the Al-Qadir Trust case. The IHC on Saturday issued a 7-page written order on the interim bail given to Imran Khan in the Al-Qadir University Trust case till May 31. The order said that if Imran Khan obstructs the investigation, the NAB can request the cancellation of the bail.

Recently, the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) released the former Prime Minister from the government prison granting him bail in the Al-Qadir Trust case along with multiple other cases and advised the PTI Chairman to cooperate with the national graft watchdog in the probe of the alleged corruption case. Earlier, the Lahore High Court also ordered the PTI Chairman to join investigations in multiple cases relating to him as there had been complaints by the Police and the courts that the probe and trial of the cases against Mr. Khan struck delayed due to continuous no-showup and cooperation from the PTI Chairman. Meanwhile, the NAB authorities claimed that the anti-corruption bureau issued Khan’s arrest warrant after his continued absence and disregard of multiple showcase notices issued by the authority urging him to join the investigation.

Multiple cases had been registered by the coalition government against the PTI Chairman concerning the violence and damage to public properties by the PTI workers/supporters during the party’s rallies/protests in the aftermath of the PTI’s ouster from power. Among several dozen cases, the most important is an abuse of power, corruption in Toshkhana gifts, misdeclaration with the Election Commission, and others. The Al-Qadir Trust case is of unique importance which not only alleged the PTI Chairman and his family’s direct involvement in corruption entailing government money for the procurement of 458 canals of valuable land for Al-Qadir University trust that is solely being owned and steered by the former ruling family. After recent violence, the federal and provincial governments registered fresh cases against the PTI’s leaders, who are allegedly involved in inciting workers and managing attacks against military installations. Hundreds of PTI workers across the country had been arrested for their alleged involvement in violence in recent days.

The head-on collision between the ruling PDM government and the opposing Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had reached a saturation point and the country faced extreme anarchy and civil unrest over the past week. The contesting political groups are at loggerheads with institutions, while the respect for the Constitution and the sanctity of the institutions had been blatantly abused by the parties’ leaders and their workers. Chauvinism is at its peak as the staunch rivals demand justice and the adjudicators of their own choice, translate the court’s verdicts and evaluate the constitution as per their desired ideologies. At the same time, leaders’ quest for support/backing from public institutions including the judiciary, the ECP, and the bureaucracy has become a party agenda of contesting political groups, that manipulate the political environment and cause doubts about the leadership and conduct of government departments and federal entities.

After waging a bloody war against the military and the state, the PTI leadership is trying to shed away its responsibility and elude accountability in the guise of innocence and nationalism. During his appearance in the court, the PTI Chairman urged for a judicial investigation into the recent violence to ascertain the truth and responsibility. The Prime Minister has also ordered the identification and arrest of the perpetrators involved in the May 9, mob’s violence and destruction. There are no two opinions that the May 9 violence was a planned invasion against the state and the national institutions for the accomplishment of nefarious motives by a particular faction that take advantage of it. At this point, the formation of a powerful judicial commission of utmost importance that pinpoints the individuals involved in violence identifies its architect and facilitator along with bringing them all to justice, so no crook dares repeat of such henious acts in the future.