THE statement issued by the Inter-Service Public Relations (ISPR) at the conclusion of three-day conclave of the formation commanders is a firm and unambiguous message that all those involved, involved in any manner, in attacks on defence symbols would be brought to justice and no one would be allowed to hide behind smoke-screens. Addressing the participants, the COAS said that hostile forces and their abettors have been trying hard to create societal division and confusion through fake news and propaganda but all such designs would continue to be defeated with the full support of the nation. The participants maintained: “Unfounded and baseless allegations on law enforcement agencies and security forces for custodial torture, human rights abuses and stifling of political activities are meant to mislead the people and malign defence forces in order to achieve trivial vested political interests”.
The process of handing over those found to be involved in physical attacks against military targets for trial in military courts has already begun and it seems the second phase of the process is about to begin in which planners, abettors and the ‘mastermind’ would be taken to task. The firm and categorical statement of the Army leadership is also an answer to an oft-repeated question whether only ordinary people would be tried under Pakistan Army Act and Official Secrets Act, sparing the influential ones. The speed with which many of the leaders of PTI were released strengthened the impression that there might be two yardsticks for the common man and the well-connected ones. However, after thorough deliberations, spanning over three days, the military leadership came to the conclusion not to spare anyone involved from planning to execution stages of the worst kind of violence that the nation witnessed on May 09 which is rightly being called the Black Day. The findings of the conference also point out that what happened on that day was not spontaneous reaction, as is being justified, but part of a deliberate strategy for which planning was done much in advance. The ISPR statement observed that efforts to create distortions and attempts to take refuge behind imaginary and mirage human rights violations to create a smokescreen for hiding the ugly faces of all involved, are absolutely futile and do not stand the ‘abundantly collected irrefutable evidence’. This effectively meant there was sufficient evidence to proceed against planners and the ‘mastermind’ and this was the result of comprehensive investigation into the happenings of May 09. There are also reports that some important persons associated with the PTI are ready to become ‘approver’ against the top leadership on the basis of their intimate knowledge of what was planned to be done in case the party chairperson was arrested. A glimpse of what is in store for planners is reflected in the wordings of the ISPR press release which says while the legal trial of perpetrators and instigators have commenced, it is time that the noose of law is also tightened around the planners and the ‘mastermind’ 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. It has also been made clear that attempts aimed at diversion of attention from the heinous nature of crime perpetrated on 09 May would not be allowed to succeed as trial under the Pakistan Army Act is fully covered by the Constitution and the Statute Book. In fact, the ongoing false propaganda campaign aimed at tarnishing the image of the national institutions by accusing them of human rights violations would create problems for the PTI leadership as the party’s overseas chapters and social media force is pleading foreign countries to impose military and economic sanctions on Pakistan. The PTI has so far received relief from different tiers of the judiciary at an amazing speed but the formation commanders have also warned that endeavours by any quarter to create obstructions and stymie the conclusive defeat of ill-design of inimical forces will be dealt with an iron hand. It is now a foregone conclusion that worse has yet to come to the PTI in days and weeks to come when its leadership would be further isolated. There is already a beeline of those leaving the party and the process would pick up momentum with far reaching impact on the overall political situation of the country.