Reiterates pledge to take May 9 rioters to task; Imran is mastermind of riots; Martyrs are valuable assets and national heroes; No guilty person would be spared; We will not allow anyone to malign armed forces; Meets Shuhada’s families
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said the “disrespect of martyrs and ghazis” and attack on military installations and on May 9 was “intolerable” and said he would not fall short of his duty to bring the perpetrators to justice.
Addressing “Azmat-e-Shuhada Convention” held here on Wednesday to pay tribute to national martyrs, he vowed not to let any slogans be raised against the armed forces and to the take to task the instigators of these incidents.
Shehbaz Sharif firmly held Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan accountable as the “mastermind” behind riots and incidents of vandalism that took place on May 9 following his arrest, stating that he cannot acquit himself of responsibility.
Shehbaz Sharif said that the Pakistani nation considers incidents as stain on national deference and will not bear such incidents to occur again in future.
The prime minister went on to assert that the miscreants of former ruling party, led by Khan, intentionally provoked the people as part of a premeditated plan.
“As an elected prime minister, it is my obligation. And I will not fall short of fulfilling my obligation […] because otherwise neither the nation nor God will forgive us,” he added.
He reiterated the vow that the planners, instigators and perpetrators of vandalism of May 9 would not be shown any leniency, “because a red line has been crossed”.
He expressed his firm stance against the miscreants who crossed the red line on May 9.
He emphasised that no guilty person would be spared, and no innocent person would be punished, regardless of any recommendations he might make. During his speech, the prime minister commended the gathering for paying homage to the martyrs who sacrificed their lives to defend Pakistan’s soil and homeland. He regarded these martyrs as valuable assets and national heroes, underscoring the importance of never forgetting their sacrifices, which were cultivated with blood.
Acknowledging the sacrifices of Pakistan’s forces, law enforcement agencies, police, and security personnel, Shehbaz Sharif credited their contributions to bringing peace and stability to the country. However, he also highlighted that the events of May 9 would forever be remembered as a “dark day” that should not be forgotten.
Shehbaz Sharif raised a pertinent question, asking if any political party should be allowed to attack the state in the event of an arrest. He contrasted the treatment of the opposition during Khan’s tenure, where they were imprisoned without resorting to unlawful actions that harmed the state or its defence institutions. He reminded the audience that even in the face of adversity, no political party had ever harmed the country or brought shame to its flag.
Regarding the May 9 incident, the prime minister described it as an unforgivable crime and an attack on the state. He expressed his concern for the desecration of pictures and memorials of the martyrs, empathising with the pain experienced by their heirs and relatives.