No new military courts being set up to try May 9 rioters: Asif

SIALKOT    -    Defence Minister Kh Asif has said that none of those accused of involvement in the May 9 ri­ots will be deprived of their ba­sic rights and made it clear that no new military courts are being established to try their cases.

“No new military courts are being established. Law is pres­ent (for this purpose) already. Courts are present and they have been continuously work­ing for the past 75 years,” the minister explained this while talking to media during a ral­ly arranged in the city on Sun­day to express solidarity with the Armed Forces in connec­tion with the May 9 violent protests allegedly by the PTI leaders and workers across the country against the ar­rest of PTI chief Imran Khan in a corruption case. The pro­testors also targeted targeting sensitive state and military installations. The government has since pursued an aggres­sive crackdown against the party leadership and others alleged of being involved in the vandalism and causing public unrest. The ruling co­alition has also said that pro­testors will be tried under the Army Act at military courts. The defence minister main­tained that the government will not target the innocent and that cases will be pur­sued only against those iden­tified in video footages of the attacks on the sensitive in­stallations. Terming the May 9 protests as an attack on the “integrity and existence of Pa­kistan”, the minister strongly condemned the acts of “ter­rorism”. He hailed the securi­ty forces of Pakistan, includ­ing police and rangers, for their “unrelentless” efforts in countering terrorism. Urging the nation to stand in unity, he said that people were well aware of the forces in play that were trying to polarise the masses and sowing seeds of bitterness. He also said that the attackers can never be pa­triots, stressing that he saw no difference between Indian attacks and the violent mob’s attack on Corps Command­er House (Jinnah House) and Mianwali Air Base.


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