ISLAMABAD: The federal government has said that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) workers who attacked military installations — including the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi — would be tried under the Pakistan Army Act.
“This matter [of attacks on military installations] comes under the army’s jurisdiction,” Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb told reporters in Islamabad.
The minister was referring to the attacks on May 9 — dubbed as ‘Black Day by the military and civilian leadership — which took place after PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s arrest in a corruption case. A Special Corps Commander Conference, called earlier this week, approved the decision of trying the PTI vandals under the Army Act, Official Secrets Act, and other relevant laws. The military’s top brass has also resolved that restraint will no longer be exercised against perpetrators, spoilers, and violators who attack military installations and setups under any circumstances. Then, the National Security Committee — the country’s apex body on security — on Tuesday endorsed the army’s decision of trying the vandals under the Pakistan Army Act. “The sentiments of the army men stationed at the borders were hurt,” she said while talking about the attacks on GHQ, Lahore Corps Commander House, and the martyrs’ monument. The information, while noting that those protesters who attacked civilian establishments would be tried under civilian laws, said the government would ensure “no one faces injustice”. “But they will have to pay for what they did,” she said. The information minister also blamed PTI’s top-tier leadership — including Khan and Murad Saeed — for inciting party workers to violence and noted that they “cannot be disassociated from the protests”. Aurangzeb also asked the courts to think about ensuring the state’s writ as she criticised Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial for saying “good to see you” to the PTI chief when he appeared before him. The courts have granted relief to Khan, allowing him to come out of jail only two days after he was put behind bars in the Al-Qadir Trust case, a move which further widened the gulf between the government and the judiciary.