6 out of 499 accused to be tried in military courts: Sana

ISLAMABAD    -    Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah has said that the accused nominated in six out of a total 499 cases registered in the wake of May 9 violent protests would be tried in the military courts.

Addressing a press conference here yester­day, the minister said that of the six cases, two were registered in Punjab and four in Khy­ber-Pakhtunkhwa and added that out of the 499 cases registered in this regard, 88 per­tained to terrorism pro­visions.

He said that 33 sus­pects; 19 in Punjab and 14 in Khyber-Pa­khtunkhwa, had been handed over to the mil­itary following the at­tacks on army instal­lations on May 9. He further said that 20,588 people were arrested in Punjab and 1,100 in KP, while 5,536 people were arrested in other cases, the majority of whom were released on bail whereas the remaining cases had gone to oth­er courts. He added that 3,946 people were arrested under ATA provisions. “But an atmosphere is being creat­ed as if all are being tried in military courts,” the minister added.

He assured that the individuals not involved in incidents of rioting on May 9 would not be included in the ongoing cases as Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had emphasised that no innocent per­son be harmed. He maintained that the Official Secrets Act and the Army Act were applicable when a person – even if it be a soldier – trespassed on a building, or a part of it, which is relat­ed to the country’s defence. “It is a pun­ishable offence to enter, stay around, or allow people to enter such a building. Protests and videos cannot be made near sensitive buildings,” he clarified.

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said that PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s possible trial in connection with the May 9 mayhem falls under the juris­diction of military courts. Sanaullah said the Pakistan Army Act and the Official Secrets Act were applicable to activities in military areas. “The Jin­nah House is the residence of the [La­hore] corps commander and his camp office. Many sensitive items were also present in Jinnah House.” Referring to the calls for legislation, he maintained that there was no need for any legis­lation or amendments regarding cas­es in military courts. Rana Sanaullah said that politics of hate started with the 2014 sit-in when a political party named its politics “jihad” and “what happened on May 9 was also a contin­uation of that”. “I used to always call Imran Khan fitna”.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt