Imran Khan should openly condemn May 9 mayhem: President Arif Alvi

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan should openly condemn the May 9 events, President Arif Alvi said Thursday, in which public properties and military installations were attacked.

In an interview on Geo News’ programme “Capital Talk”, the president — a close aide of the PTI chief — called for taking action against the miscreants involved in the events.

The PTI leadership — including the party chairman — have condemned the attacks in which the General Headquarters, Rawalpindi, was also targeted and called for a Supreme Court-led probe into the events.

The violent protests were triggered after Khan’s arrest in the Al-Qadir Trust case which led to the deaths of at least 10 people and injured several others, prompting the authorities to arrest thousands of PTI workers.

After the supporters attacked army installations, the army said that May 9, 2023 — the day when chaos gripped the nation following Khan’s arrest — would go down in history as a “dark chapter”.

The military and the government alike have vowed to try the vandals who attacked army installations under the Pakistan Army Act, Official Secrets Act, and other laws.

Human rights organisations and some in the government have opposed trying civilians under the army act, but agreed that the vandals should be tried and “due process” be followed.

The president, in the interview, also added that during the trials, the suspects’ human rights should be respected and they shouldn’t be tortured.

“The people involved should be punished in line with the law,” he said.

‘No issues on COAS appointment’

The president added that the PTI chairman did not oppose Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Asim Munir.

“Imran Khan asked me to tell General Bajwa that he should accept anyone whom the institution approves as the next chief,” President Alvi said.

Khan has criticised the military’s incumbent leadership and blamed a senior armed forces official for his alleged involvement in the November 3, 2022, assassination attempt.

But at the same time, the PTI chief has also said that he will not interfere with the institution’s matters when he comes back to power.

“I do not intervene in the institution’s matters. I’ve repeatedly said this,” he said.

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