On May 9th, 2023, the arrest of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan sparked nationwide riots across the country, leading to property damage and disruptions in several areas. In response to the events that unfolded, the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), the media wing of Pakistan Army, has labelled it a “black chapter” in the country’s history. This article will delve into the details of the incident, the aftermath, and the response of the ISPR.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) issued a statement justifying the arrest of Imran Khan, which was made from the Islamabad High Court. However, the protests following Imran Khan’s arrest were specifically targeted at army property and installations. The military’s media wing condemned these actions, emphasising that no one would be allowed to take the law into their own hands.
The events of May 9th
The aftermath of Imran Khan’s arrest witnessed a wave of attacks on the army’s properties and installations, accompanied by anti-army slogans being raised. The ISPR condemned these actions and expressed its concerns regarding the tactics employed by certain elements within the protesting groups. The military media wing further accused them of deceiving the people by simultaneously highlighting the importance of the army.
The ISPR criticised the protesters, describing their actions as an attempt to manipulate the nation’s sentiments for their own limited and selfish objectives. The statement went on to add that the army has demonstrated extreme tolerance, patience, and restraint and has worked with utmost patience and endurance in the best interests of the country, without even considering their own reputation.
The ISPR stated that those who were involved in facilitating, planning and political instigation have been identified, and strict action will be taken against them according to the law, adding that “all rogue elements will responsible for the consequences”. The military’s media wing also emphasised the significance of maintaining law and order, highlighting the need to respect the institutions of the country.
Accusations against PTI leadership
The ISPR statement criticised the protesters and accused them of being a group wearing a political cloak, driven by their lust for power. They claimed that these groups have accomplished what the eternal enemies of the country could not do in 75 years. The ISPR further alleged that behind this, there were some orders, instructions, and complete planning of some nefarious leaders of the party.
Warning from the ISPR
The statement concluded by emphasising that no one would be allowed to incite the public or take the law into their own hands. In the event of any further attacks on military and state installations and properties, including all law enforcement agencies and state institutions, the military, along with all law enforcement agencies, will respond with strong and decisive action, and the complete responsibility will lie with the group that intends to drag Pakistan into a civil war and has already expressed it multiple times.