• Sun. May 21st, 2023

May 9 was a conspiracy, all authorities conclude


Men on a bike ride past a burning police vehicle during a protest by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party activists and supporters of former prime minister Imran against the arrest of their leader, in Quetta on May 9, 2023. —AFP
Men on a bike ride past a burning police vehicle during a protest by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party activists and supporters of former prime minister Imran against the arrest of their leader, in Quetta on May 9, 2023. —AFP

ISLAMABAD: The civil and military authorities — probing May 9 attacks on the military installations and war memorials — conclude that it was a pre-planned conspiracy and not a mere reaction of the PTI protesters to Imran Khan’s arrest.

This correspondent had background discussions with both the civilian and military authorities on the matter. There is no confusion on either side about the existence of a conspiracy. The PTI chief Imran Khan, however, strongly rejected it and insisted that the destruction on May 9 was caused by infiltrated agencies’ men, who were behind the violence to justify a crackdown on the PTI.

When asked whether there was any direct evidence available of the involvement of Imran Khan in the conspiracy, senior security officials said that let the investigation complete everything will be crystal clear. “It was all pre-planned,” said a source.

For the same reason, the sources said that all key authorities, including the prime minister, army chief, cabinet, corps commanders conference, caretaker chief minister, and police officers, in their public statements had said that it was all pre-planned.

Following the corps commanders conference held on Monday, the ISPR press release clearly stated, “Based on the irrefutable evidence collected so far, the armed forces are well aware of the planners, instigators, abettors and perpetrators of these attacks.”

The ISPR added that the forum was briefed that a well-coordinated arson plan involving desecration of Shuhada pictures, monuments, burning down of historical buildings and vandalism of military installations was executed to malign the institution and provoke it towards giving an impulsive reaction.

According to a senior official of a security agency, the targets were decided before Imran Khan’s arrest. It is alleged that it was planned that in case of the arrest of Imran Khan, the PTI would attack the targets. As part of the planning, it is said, the protesters were made to march towards the marked defence related targets for attack.

A senior PTI leader when approached said on condition of not being named that it was just a reaction and not a conspiracy. When asked why defence installations, buildings and symbols were attacked everywhere, he had no convincing response. He said perhaps it happened because the protesters might have thought that Rangers, who arrested Imran Khan, were led by a general.

The PTI leader, however, sounded worried about how the incidents unfolded on May 9. He disclosed that the PTI leaders, not arrested so far, were reviewing the situation and discussing how to get out of this situation. He insists that the PTI does not want confrontation with the army. However, when asked if it was not too late to make such a statement, he did not reply.



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