Stability, rule of law hinge on bringing May 9 culprits to justice: military

Chief of Army Staff General Asim Munir presiding over the 83rd Formation Commanders Conference at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi. — Screengrab/ISPR video

COAS Gen Asim Munir leads assembly of military leadership.Nation “fully aware of their grim”, “hidden intentions”, says forum.Determined to fully defeat schemes of “malicious forces”.Rawalpindi: The country’s military leadership on Thursday emphasized the importance of bringing to justice the organizers, instigators, accomplices, and enablers of the May 9 disturbances for the “common welfare of the country”. The Pakistan Army also asserted that stability in the nation will be compromised by the schemes of such individuals unless there is a prompt and transparent administration of justice to the offenders, establishing the rule of law, the military’s media division stated in a communiqué.

According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the military’s determination was conveyed during the 83rd Formation Commanders Conference at the General Headquarters (GHQ) presided over by Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Syed Asim Munir. The declaration released by the ISPR regarding the assembly — which included Corps Commanders, Principal Staff Officers, and all Formation Commanders of the Pakistan Army — comes weeks after the nation observed the commemoration of one year since the violent disturbances that impacted the country, undermining the sanctity of state institutions, on May 9, 2023.

The upheavals ensued following Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) creator Imran Khan‘s apprehension on the given date during which party members demonstrated and took to the streets across the nation, resulting in damage to public and private assets. During the forum, the military leadership stressed that politically driven and interest-laden digital sabotage, launched by conspirators with the backing of their international collaborators, against state institutions is evidently aimed at inducing hopelessness in the Pakistani populace, fostering discord among national institutions, particularly the Armed Forces, and the citizens of Pakistan by disseminating blatant misinformation, fake news, and propaganda.

“However, the nation is fully aware of their grim and hidden intentions and surely the schemes of these malicious forces will be thoroughly thwarted, InshaAllah,” the forum stated. The forum, as indicated by the ISPR, was informed about the dynamics of the geo-strategic milieu, emerging challenges to national security, and the Army’s approach to counter multi-domain threats.

“The attendees were also briefed on technological advancements to modernize the Army and streamline logistical support to field units, aligning with rapidly evolving operational scenarios.”

The military’s media department relayed that the forum expressed grave concerns over the ongoing cross-border violations from Afghanistan and terrorism being orchestrated utilizing Afghan soil, pointing out that Pakistan‘s adversaries were employing Afghanistan to target Security Forces and innocent civilians within Pakistan.

“The forum commended the invaluable sacrifices of the people of newly merged districts (NMDs) in the fight against terrorism and emphasized the importance of uplifting the NMDs to decisively vanquish terrorism,” it reiterated. The forum also highlighted the necessity for socio-economic progress in Balochistan to counter externally propagated narratives of exclusion, exploited by foreign-sponsored proxies to sway Balochistan‘s youth away from peace and advancement.

It affirmed its ongoing full support for government initiatives across various sectors for sustainable economic growth and curbing illicit activities, including smuggling, hoarding, electricity theft, the implementation of a one-document regime, respectful repatriation of illegal foreigners, and the preservation of the national database, among others.

“The COAS praised the high level of training exhibited by formations during diverse exercises and the outstanding performance of officers and troops in counter-terrorism operations,” the communiqué stated. It further added that the COAS lauded the formations for their high morale and continuous operational alertness.

The forum’s participants expressed their complete satisfaction with the measures being taken at the army level for the training, administration, and welfare of serving and retired officers and troops. The forum noted the vital milestone accomplished by Pakistan on Youm-e-Takbir and its stabilizing effect on the region.

Reviewing the current situation on the Eastern frontier and the latest succession of extra-judicial killings in IIOJK, the forum expressed unmitigated solidarity with the Kashmiri populace in their rightful struggle for the non-negotiable right to self-determination as endorsed in UNSC Resolutions.

The forum showed concern over the treatment of minorities, especially Muslims, in India and noted the rising fascism being executed to achieve vested political agendas, the communiqué noted. The nation’s military leadership also expressed absolute solidarity with the people of Palestine and condemned severe human rights abuses and war crimes being perpetrated in Gaza, backing the International Court of Justice’s judgment to halt the Rafah Operation and all other operations within the Gaza Strip.

The conference concluded by confirming the determination to neutralize all threats to the country’s security and stability with the full support of the proud nation. The leadership of the nation’s military also recited fateha and paid homage to the supreme sacrifices of martyrs, including officers and personnel of the armed forces, law enforcement agencies, and citizens of Pakistan who gave their lives for the nation’s safety, security, and sovereignty.

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