May 9 is history’s dark chapter: army

ISLAMABAD, May 11: Declaring May 9 as ‘black day’, the army on Wednesday warned that any further attack on it or state institutions or any law enforcement agency will be dealt with full force.

A day after violent protesters ransacked the residence of Corps Commander Lahore and broke the gates of General Headquarters in Rawalpindi, the army, through its media wing, issued a stern warning to those creating law and order situation in the country.

“May 9 will be remembered as a dark chapter,” read the statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

The statement said PTI Chairman Imran Khan, as per the statement of National Accountability Bureau (NAB), was taken into custody on Tuesday “legally” from the Islamabad High Court. “Immediately after his arrest, there were organised attacks on army properties and installations and anti-army slogans were raised,” the statement said.

The ISPR said that on the one hand, “these miscreants evoke the nation’s emotions for achieving their limited and selfish objectives and on the other hand, they deceive people, continuing to highlight the army’s importance”.

“This is an example of hypocrisy,” it stated.

The military’s media wing said that “this group wearing a political cloak” has done what enemies could not do in 75 years, all “in the lust for power”.

“The army showed patience and restraint and exercised extreme tolerance, not even caring about its reputation, in the larger interest of the country,” it said.

“With this situation created under a nefarious planning, a heinous attempt was made to make the army give an immediate reaction, which could be used for nefarious political purposes.

“The army’s mature response thwarted this conspiracy. We are well aware that behind it were orders, directives and complete pre-planning by some sinister party leadership,” the statement added.

“Facilitators, planners and political activists involved in these operations have been identified and strict action will be taken against them as per the law and all these evil elements will now be responsible for the consequences.”

The significant part of the statement was that the army clearly warned that any further attack on the army, including all law enforcement agencies, military and state installations and properties will be severely retaliated against the very group that “wants to push Pakistan into a civil war”.

The statement further noted that one could be allowed to incite people and take the law into their hands. The strongly-worded reaction from the army suggests that the battle lines have been drawn and it seems the situation has reached a point of no return.

Following the storming of the corps commanders residence and the GHQ, there is a talk of banning the Tehreek-e-Insaf.

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