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When Gen. Sahir Shamshad Mirza thwarted the May 9 rebellion in Pakistan

Gen. Sahir Shamshad Mirza in Singapore at the Shangri La Dialogue

When Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen. Asim Munir was abroad, a well-oiled rebellion on May 9 nearly breached the military’s citadel, with simultaneous attacks on key icons of the army including the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi and Lahore corps commander’s residence.

Though details are still sketchy, India Narrative has learnt that the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Sahir Shamshad Mirza and other corps commanders played a key role in preventing the steamrolling of the top military leadership by the saboteurs, who had anticipated insider support.

Pak insiders told IN that simultaneously with the attacks, over 26000 people had taken to streets for the “revolution”.

But after breaking the onslaught, 7000-10000 people are in detention while 471 people have been docked for violence.

Though the back of the revolt has been broken, it is learnt that ex-PM Imran Khan and his supporters are still suffering from the illusion that a mutiny will remove Army Chief Asim Munir this month.

In fact, a full ecosystem comprising influential sections of the Punjab bureaucracy and higher judiciary, particularly like-minded judges of Lahore High court, Islamabad High court and junior Punjab judges share this, and similar perceptions.

Consequently, they are providing immediate relief to PTI leaders involved in May 09 Mayhem.

For those engaged in rooting out Khan’s network, dismantling the ex-PM’s eco-system in Punjab is turning out to be a tough ask.

It has now come to light that either because of fear of the Khan’s return, or patronage, Punjab police has deliberately prepared weak cases against the indicted for the May 9 mayhem. In deepening PTI roots in Punjab, former Chief Minister, Parvez Elahi, now behind the bars played a key role in investing in the police, bureaucracy and judiciary.

PTI’s influence in the Punjab judiciary became transparent in the case of Yasmin Rashid. Rashid was visibly involved on the attack at the Lahore corps commander’s residence, but was discharged by the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) on June 3.

This is despite the availability of video clips showing Rashid exhorting crowds going towards Jinnah House, the Corps Commander’s residence.

Pakistani daily News International is reporting that the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) that had been formed after the May 9 attacks had included Rashid’s name in the Jinnah House attack case. But in the FIR, her presence was shown only outside the Jinnah House.

At a press conference, Punjab IGP Punjab, Usman Anwar said at a conference that the acquittal of Rashid, who he said had made 41 calls during the Jinnah House attack, will be challenged at a higher court.

Notwithstanding the obstacles, the military stands united, a key factor that seals the ex-Prime Minister’s fate, and makes his arrest inevitable.

There only one sting in the tail. Will Khan leverage his considerable influence abroad to manage an asylum overseas when his back is completely against the wall?

Also Read: Operation to dismantle Imran Khan’s network in Pakistan steams into Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa