The Pakistan military top brass has concluded a four-day huddle with a firm resolve to root out ex-Prime Minister Imran Khan’s network that caused the May 9 rebellion against the army, sparing nether the rank and file nor the leaders of the conspiracy.
India Narrative has learnt that the military top brass was stunned that its installations and symbols of power were brazenly attacked, and that too in Punjab, the army’s core.
On that fateful day, the Lahore corps commander’s residence was ransacked, the Rawalpindi General Headquarters was vandalised and the replica of a sabre jet was defaced.
The unsavoury events have to a large extent united the Pakistan military, including those who may have had a soft corner for the ex-Prime Minister prior to the May 9 mayhem.
It is learnt that the Pak Army Chief Gen. Asim Munir has been furious by the turn of events, and he fully demonstrated his feelings during his visits to various corps and garrisons after the incident, and prior to June 4 formation commanders meeting.
During these visits the Chief of Army Staff apparently exhorted the rank and file to behave professionally, and root out pro-PTI or any other kind of political inclination from their minds.
Gen. Munir’s line of thought was clear–no mercy would be shown towards those complicit in the May 09 attacks, irrespective of their elite status. Even families of retired and serving generals would be in the firing line.
It was in the context of purging the military of Khan sympathisers within and launching a full-scale operation to dismantle the ex-PM’s ecosystem that the June 4 corps commanders took place.
It is evident from the statement issued on Friday by the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) that the military is ready to withstand any pressure, including from abroad in support of Khan, especially on grounds of human rights violations.
The military statement nailed three key points. First, the perpetrators of the May 9 attacks, including the martyrs’ monuments, Jinnah House and military installations would be tried “speedily” under the Pakistan Army Act and Official Secret Act which are the derivatives of the Constitution of Pakistan. The statement implies that the cases will fall out of the jurisdiction of the Pakistani judiciary especially the Supreme Court of Pakistan, including Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial and the Lahore High court, which has shielded Khan and his top lieutenants.
Second, foreign agencies would not be allowed to interfere under the “mirage of human rights violations” to shield the guilty.
The assertion assumes importance after Sajid Burki, Khan’s uber loyalist in the US, has posted a video on twitter with Congressman Greg Casar exhorting him to impose sanctions on the Pakistan military on account of its alleged human rights violations.
Congressman Greg Casar spoke against the Human Rights violations, Freedom of press and democracy being threatened in Pakistan. Congressman also agreed to be the part of the petition already signed by 68 members of Congress. pic.twitter.com/VxJqenMWcV
— Atif Khan (@akhan4pakistan) June 4, 2023
Third, the crackdown on the PTI leadership and masterminds of the May 9 attacks will now well and truly begin. “It has been further stressed that, while the legal trials of perpetrators and instigators have commenced, it is time that noose of law is also tightened around the planners and masterminds who mounted the hate ripened and politically driven rebellion against the state and state institutions to achieve their nefarious design of creating chaos in the country,” the statement stressed.
In a veiled warning to the pro-Imran judiciary and the PTI supporters abroad, the top commanders warned that endeavours by any quarter to create obstructions and stymie the conclusive defeat of ill-design of inimical forces will be dealt with iron hands.
Simultaneously on the political front, former Prime Minister Asif Ali Zardari of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has become hyper-active. Pak insiders told India Narrative that that as PTI erodes, the PPP Co-Chairman is luring “electables” from Punjab, focusing on South Punjab, with the ultimate goal of elevating Bilawal Bhutto to the prime ministerial slot.
Khan’s estranged ally Jahangir Khan Tareen is emerging as the rising star in the new arrangement that is beginning to take shape.
Tareen had been activated to form a strong faction comprising majority of electable Members of the National Assembly (MNAs) and Members of the Provincial Assemblies (MPAs) who can play a major role in any future set up.
Despite feverish political activities that indicate elections this year, several analysts say that on account of the prevailing situation, elections are likely to take place next year.