Sunday, July 30, 2023
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif will face the law upon return in the country.
Speaking during Geo News' programme "Jirga", the PM said that the three-time former prime minister — who has been living in London since 2019 in self-imposed exile — will arrive homeland in the next few weeks.
Responding to a question, PM Shehbaz termed the May 9 riots triggered by the arrest of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan in a graft case a conspiracy against Pakistan.
Calling the PTI chairman its “mastermind”, the premier said that the riots were aimed at toppling the military leadership and initiating a civil war in the country. The PM clarified that he was making the revelations on the basis of information.
Khan, ousted via a no-trust move in April last year, was arrested in a graft case, triggering violent protests, during which his party's supporters ransacked public and military properties.
The premier said other than PTI workers, a group of politicians, some military men and their families were involved in the events of May 9, dubbed "Black Day" by the military.
"Those involved in the May 9 incidents wanted to overthrow the military leadership," the prime minister said.
PM Shehbaz mentioned that the planners wanted "anarchy" and "civil war" in the country.
Following the violent protests, the government and the military vowed a strong response, arresting and detaining several PTI workers and leaders for their alleged involvement.
In response to the attacks, Pakistan Army sacked three senior officers, including a lieutenant general.
Major General Ahmad Sharif Chaudhry, the army's spokesperson, said two departmental inquiries were conducted, headed by major generals, and punishments were given according to their recommendations.
Strict departmental action had also been taken against another 15 army officers, including three major generals and seven brigadiers, Chaudhry said, as part of internal accountability in the military.
He added that several relatives, including women, of senior army officers were also facing trials for allegedly being facilitators of the violence.
The PTI contests that its members were not involved in the attacks, but the government and military reject the claims and say they have "irrefutable evidence" of their involvement.
The army also decided to try those who attacked military installations — including the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi and Lahore Corps Commander House — in military courts.
The Supreme Court, however, expects that civilians will not be tried in military courts until it has decided on the petitions challenging the trials.
To another query, the premier said his government steered the country out of the default risk and restored the lost dignity of the country during the past 15 months.
The premier said that a summary of the dissolution of the National Assembly will be sent to the president ahead of the completion of the tenure. He maintained that the NA tenure will complete at 12 midnight on August 12.
He maintained that PML-N would try to make seat adjustments with allied parties, adding that the party would field his candidate in the constitutes where they could not reach a consensus.