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Planner, perpetrators, abettors and facilitators of the May 9 riots must be punished: ISPR

On Thursday, the country’s military leadership emphasized the necessity of bringing to justice the planners, perpetrators, abettors, and facilitators of the May 9 riots for the “collective good of the country.”

The Pakistan Army asserted that without swift and transparent justice and the establishment of the rule of law, the country’s stability will remain vulnerable to the actions of such elements, according to a statement from the military’s media wing.

This resolve was expressed during the 83rd Formation Commanders Conference at General Headquarters (GHQ), chaired by Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Syed Asim Munir, as reported by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

The conference, attended by Corps Commanders, Principal Staff Officers, and all Formation Commanders of the Pakistan Army, took place weeks after the first anniversary of the violent May 9, 2023, riots, which saw widespread damage to public and private property following the arrest of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan.

During the forum, military leaders highlighted the threat posed by politically motivated digital terrorism, driven by conspirators with foreign support, aimed at sowing discord among national institutions and the public through misinformation and propaganda.

“The nation is fully aware of their ulterior motives, and the designs of these nefarious forces will be comprehensively defeated, InshaAllah,” the forum asserted.

The ISPR added that the forum was briefed on the geo-strategic environment, emerging national security challenges, and the Army’s strategy to counter multi-domain threats.

Discussions also covered technological innovations to modernize the Army and optimize logistic support in line with the evolving operational environment.

The military’s media wing expressed serious concerns about ongoing cross-border violations from Afghanistan and the use of Afghan soil to orchestrate terrorism against Pakistan’s Security Forces and civilians.

“The forum acknowledged the priceless sacrifices of the people of newly merged districts (NMDs) in the war against terrorism and stressed the importance of uplifting these areas to decisively defeat terrorism,” the statement read.

Furthermore, the forum emphasized the need for socio-economic development in Balochistan to counter narratives of exclusion exploited by foreign proxies to mislead Balochistan’s youth.

The military leadership pledged full support for government initiatives aimed at sustainable economic growth and curbing illegal activities such as smuggling, hoarding, electricity theft, and the repatriation of illegal foreigners.

COAS General Munir commended the high training standards displayed during various exercises and the excellent performance of officers and troops in counter-terrorism operations, praising their high morale and round-the-clock operational readiness.

The forum also reviewed the situation on the Eastern border and condemned the latest round of extrajudicial killings in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), expressing complete solidarity with the Kashmiri people in their struggle for self-determination as per UNSC resolutions.

Concerns were also raised about the treatment of minorities, particularly Muslims, in India, noting the growing fascism for political gain.

The military leadership expressed solidarity with the people of Palestine, condemning human rights violations and war crimes in Gaza, and supported the International Court of Justice’s decision to halt the Rafah Operation and other actions within the Gaza Strip.

The conference concluded with a reaffirmation of the resolve to neutralize all threats to national security and stability with the full support of the nation.

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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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