Imran blames 'planted' miscreants for May 9 violence

PTI responds to decision of trying rioters under army, official secrets acts; urges constitutional solutions

News Desk May 16, 2023
PTI chief Imran Khan talks to Sky News. Photo: SCREENGRAB

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan alleged on Tuesday that people who had guns and committed arson during the May 9 protests against his arrest were "planted amongst the demonstrators".

The former premier stated that he “consistently” told PTI workers “that whatever the provocation they must only do peaceful protests”.

He reiterated that whenever an “independent inquiry” occurs, he would “prove” that those “who had guns and those who committed arson were planted amongst the demonstrators just as they were going to do in the plan I uncovered here in this video message”, Imran said, with a pre-recorded video from March 22, after the "assassination attempt" against him at the Islamabad Judicial Complex on March 18, attached in the tweet.

“Now they have hatched another plan, and I am letting everyone know. I am telling the judiciary and I am especially telling the Punjab police. IG [Inspector General] Punjab and IG Islamabad, backed by the handlers, have devised another plan,” he said in the video.

Read Not ISPR's job to decide Imran’s arrest ‘legality’

He claimed that they had planned to conduct an operation outside his residence in Zaman Park, with two squads chosen by both the IGs, to pretend to be part of the PTI supporters and assassinate four to five police officials.

“Then, they [the police] will counterattack, fire bullets and kill our people in an attack similar to the Model Town massacre. They will then proceed further, attack me and assassinate me in the same manner as Murtaza Bhutto,” he continued.

He warned the Punjab police about the possible murders of their personnel, just for grounds to attack him.

The PTI chief instructed his party workers “once again” to never become part of any conflict, urging them to “not react, no matter what they do”.

“This time, if they try to incite you, you should not react in any way,” he stated.

PTI’s response to ISPR

In a statement issued on the PTI’s official Twitter account, the party maintained that the PTI considered the announcement issued at the end of the Special Corps Commanders Conference as “very important”.

Yesterday, the top military brass resolved that those involved in attacks on military installations and personnel would be brought to justice through trials under the relevant laws of the country, including the Pakistan Army Act and the Official Secret Act.

A Special Corps Commanders Conference, chaired by Chief of Army Staff Gen Syed Asim Munir at the General Headquarters (GHQ), also warned that restraint would no longer be exercised in case of attacks on military installations.

According to a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the forum took a comprehensive stock of the law and order situation in the past few days that was “created to achieve vested political interests”.

The PTI, in its statement, said that the sense of a well-thought-out plan behind the incidents of violence and chaos in the forces was “a step in the right direction”. The statement added that some government buildings, military properties and hundreds of innocent and peaceful citizens were affectted by the chaos.

“As the largest federal party, which upholds the Constitution and democracy, we believe that the Constitution of Pakistan is the source of our individual and collective guidance,” the statement maintained. It added that the solution to any kind of complex crisis situation was hidden in this “social contract”.

According to the statement, the peaceful protest was a “natural consequence of the abduction” of PTI chief Imran Khan, and the “fundamental democratic right to peaceful protest was guaranteed by the Constitution of Pakistan”.

The PTI’s media department claimed that “incontrovertible evidence was available that armed miscreants were inducted into the ranks of peaceful protestors as part of a well-thought-out plan”. It continued that on the one hand, the miscreants “burned” things down and, on the other, they opened fire at peaceful citizens.

Read more Verdict reserved on Imran's plea against arrest in cases registered since May 9

The statement added that dozens of innocent civilians were martyred and hundreds were injured in the firing incidents "carried out by miscreants".

“During the 27-year peaceful political, legal and constitutional struggle, this is the only incident of its kind after the November 3 assassination attack on [party] chairperson Imran Khan”.

It stated that in the incident, along with civilians, PTI workers were subjected to mass firing.

“Under the guise of chaos and riots, an attempt was made to pit Pakistan's biggest political force and the armed forces against one another,” it claimed.

The statement called for an “all-round investigation” to identify the elements behind the “unusual incident of sedition and chaos”.

It further added that after being released from illegal detention on the orders of the Supreme Court, Imran, in his address to the nation, proposed to hold an independent inquiry into the events of May 9.

The statement maintained that the PTI had “sufficient evidence" to prove that officials of agencies were “involved in arson and firing at some places”. It claimed that the plan was to “spread chaos that could be blamed on the PTI to justify the ongoing crackdown against it".

“Moreover, [the] Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has unshakable faith in the supremacy of the Constitution and the law”.

According to the statement, the party considered “personal and group prejudices, unnecessary haste in the implementation of the law and turning a blind eye to the facts by focusing on power and authority” as “poison for the social and state order”.

“In our view, one person or institution acting as the judge, jury and executioner is against the basic principles of justice and is destructive for the establishment of justice,” it maintained, adding that such a practice had no room in a civilized, democratic and constitutional system.

The PTI “fully recognised” the importance of broad consensus among political parties regarding national issues. It further said that “the measure of the status and acceptance of any political force was the public support it receives”.

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“Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf very uniformly considers the republic to be entitled to sovereignty after the supreme authority of the Lord Almighty”. It continued that “the people are empowered to make national decisions and policies through their elected representatives”.

“Any kind of agreement against the purpose of democracy between unconstitutional, non-democratic or inorganic political groups only leads to the promotion of uncertainty and intensification of instability,” the Central Media Department said.

The statement highlighted the necessity of returning the “right to make a decision to the people by conducting quick, fair and transparent elections”.

“The way of this national journey should be paved according to the Constitution which is based on unity instead of conflict”.


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