ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Friday said that that 33 individuals involved in the May 9 incidents have been handed over to the military for trial.
Addressing a press conference here, he clarified that only six out of the 499 cases registered could be tried in military courts. The minister specified that 19 individuals from Punjab and 14 from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) would face trial in military courts.
Sanaullah explained that the suspects were accused of attacking army installations during protests following the arrest of PTI Chairman Imran Khan. He raised concerns about how these individuals managed to trespass on sensitive defense installations. However, he dismissed rumors that all trials would take place in military courts, clarifying that the military would investigate the cases but not assume jurisdiction. The military courts would assess the applicability of the Army Act or the Official Secrets Act.
According to the interior minister, approximately 4,000 people were arrested nationwide under the Anti-Terrorism Act. Out of these, 2,588 arrests were made in Punjab and 1,099 in KP. He mentioned that 88 FIRs (First Information Reports) were filed under the Anti-Terrorism Act, while the remaining 411 cases were registered under other laws. In additional cases, 5,536 people were arrested, and the majority of them, around 80 percent, had been released on bail.
Sanaullah emphasized that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had clearly stated that innocent individuals connected to the violent protests on May 9 would not be punished. The government’s focus is to ensure that no innocent person is harmed, according to the minister.
The interior minister further asserted that the public had rejected the politics of anarchy and chaos instigated by Imran Khan. He attributed the violent acts to the planning of the PTI chairman, alluding to Imran Khan’s speeches.
In response to a question, Sanaullah affirmed that the assemblies would complete their tenure, and elections would be held in accordance with the constitution. He reassured that general elections would be conducted simultaneously across the country.