Following a visit to the Corps Commander House in Lahore, which had been ransacked by demonstrators from the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif instructed the Punjab government to act quickly and arrest the perpetrators within 72 hours.
“I have given law enforcement apparatus a target of 72 hours to arrest all those involved in facilitating, abetting, and perpetrating the disgraceful incidents of arson, ransacking, sabotage, and damaging public & private properties,” the Prime Minister said after chairing a meeting at the Punjab Safe City Authority Headquarters in Lahore.
He stated that all available resources, including technical assistance and intelligence, are being used to track down these individuals.
“Bringing these individuals to justice is a litmus test for the government.” Their cases will be heard in anti-terrorist courts,” he added, adding that such terrorism is unacceptable.
Lamenting the May 9 riots sparked by PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s detention, PM Shehbaz stated the Jinnah House had been utterly destroyed, leaving the entire nation in mourning.
“On May 9, terrible events in Pakistan’s history occurred.” “The Corps Commander House is the historic Jinnah House, and seeing it [in such a state] is disheartening,” the Prime Minister added.
In a scathing attack on his predecessor, Prime Minister Imran Khan, the PM stated that the former prime minister and his “mob” are anti-Pakistan elements.
“Those involved in terrorist activities should be prosecuted in accordance with the law,” declared the Prime Minister. He promised that the law will deal with the criminals with an “iron hand.”
“What the enemies couldn’t do in 75 years, the PTI miscreants did.” “Government property was damaged as part of a plan,” claimed the Prime Minister.
The premier also expressed remorse that the martyr’s memorial had been vandalized and asked for the miscreants to face justice in anti-terrorism tribunals.
“If anti-terrorism courts have to be opened at night to punish criminals, then they should be opened,” said the Prime Minister, who asked police and the administration to arrest the miscreants promptly because the “whole situation is unacceptable.”
During the discussion, the premier asked Law Minister Azam Nazir Tarar to boost the number of anti-terrorism courts.
Earlier, PM Shehbaz visited the vandalized Lahore Corps Commander House alongside interim Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi, expressing sympathy with the country’s military leadership. Later, he went to the Services Hospital to meet with the injured servicemen.
The CM and PM also met Deputy Inspector-General of Police Ali Nasir Rizvi at the Services Hospital, where he was receiving treatment for an eye injury sustained during furious PTI rallies.
Following the arrest of PTI chief Imran Khan on Tuesday, protestors stormed the Jinnah House, the residence of the Lahore corps commander, demanding the release of their leader.
In response to protestor destruction, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) stated that May 9 — the day turmoil engulfed the nation — will be remembered as a “dark chapter” in history.
“There were organized attacks on army properties and installations shortly after [Khan’s arrest], and anti-army slogans were raised,” the military’s media wing claimed.
The PTI, on the other hand, denied involvement in the ensuing violence, calling the ISPR statement “against ground realities.”
“We believe that by remaining peaceful, nonviolent, and adhering to the Constitution and the law, we can achieve our goals.” “The PTI has always discouraged deviance from the Constitution and the law,” according to a statement issued by the party.